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May 31, 2018

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I call it the "travel vortex". I enter the vortex knowing I'll eventually be spit out at my destination but when, what transpires between entry and exit, and what it will have cost me once I'm out are unknowable.

A variation of Bistromathematics it seems. Definition provided: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bistromathematics

I congratulate PM on his elegant use of the Somebody Else's Problem field and getting Elle to figure it out.

One of the true delights of traveling is learning to just go with the flow. You're there. You may never be there again. Enjoy it.

There is much wisdom in your advice to live in the moment. I agree that if possible one should go with the flow. Problems arise however when there is no available flow. Ah strike season in France when the air is redolent with frustration!

More than 40 years of traveling through Europe and the Middle East has brought enough cancellations and delays that, if I took it seriously, would have driven me mad decades ago. The second time I went to Israel I had a bizarre series of connections to try to keep the costs down, including a train trip between Luxembourg City and Brussels. The flight leaving Ben Gurion was delayed by a terrorist incident, during which I saw the IDF gun down a Palestinian. Delayed so long that my train was already gone before I left Israel on the next available flight. So I ended up on on old twin-engined Beechcraft Commander for a flight between Lux and Brussels -- complete with a cargo net separating the passenger area (wicker seats) from the cargo area. It took a day and a half longer to get home, and I arrived with less than $10. But I'll never forget the experience. And experience is why we travel.

It's wonderfully enlightening isn't it? I never would have set eyes on Lake Titicaca if I hadn't been put on the wrong plane. A curious coincidence has developed. My wife just booked our long awaited European river cruise and it seems we will be following in the steps of the master for we land in Marseille and thence to Avignon and cruise to Lyon. I have pointed out to her that strike season in France dictates we arrive a couple days early in order to ensure a timely arrival at the cruise. Ditto for the Paris excursion to follow. The tighter your schedule the more likely disappointment is to follow.

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Your host, P.M. Carpenter (photo credit: L. Reeves)

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