Is it really all the same wherever you go? Are just the people you meet what’s different? Have my excursions just been that limited? As I sit here looking out into the blue-green ocean waters watching the overloaded ferry pull away from the dock, I cannot help but think of the other places I’ve been and say it could be there. The Smirnoff vodka in my drink can be acquired in almost any country, the game of beach volleyball being played between a dozen strangers is happening on every beach today, the over burdened ferry that is painfully out of date is running people, cars and cargo between the mainland and the island on any coast. You can have pseudo Greek food in Mexico, hot dog and fries in the Phillipeans, Japanese sushi in Santa Barbara, tapas in Houston, Turkish in Hamburg. Back tracking to people, are they even really that different? In the end it doesn’t matter what category, race, ethnicity, religion or whatever the neatly fit into, it’s whether or not they mesh with you. You may sit at the bar, or in the pool with a wide variety of people, enjoying the microcosm of meeting these different people. Yet in the grand scheme of things, they will simply be a ripple in our lives, not a profound impact most likely.
So that leaves us with two things: local scenery and souvenirs / shopping. Since everything is made in China anyway, so much for anything local. So now we are down to the scenery. Hotels and resorts are all pretty much the same. Destination beaches, you have some options as far as color of sand, color of water and temperature. I guess the rest of it is what it’s about. Things you can’t see in your own backyard. Of course, now with Google Earth, you don’t have to go anywhere, even the biggest, laziest schmuck can see the top of Mt. Everest! So the experience of seeing it in person is what it boils down to. Yet a beach is a beach is a beach, what am I seeing that is so different? Nothing really, but it’s still beautiful. I can have this as my screen saver all day at work, but that will never be the same as sitting right here, with an electric lemon aid in my hand, a beat up cowboy hat on my head, thinking there is no way in hell that ferry is gonna make it this time. I don’t care that this is a cookie cutter resort beach, I don’t have to do crap and I think I’m gonna have another drink! Cheers!
– vacation journal July 2013