Sunny and warm, incredibly pleasant weather and released from all commitments to assignments and exams, you are suddenly overcome with a the sheer sensation of being truly alive and free – all of this…really doesn’t apply to Washington DC at the moment in the midst of yet another snow storm with plenty of freezing rain to turn the sidewalks into makeshift ice rinks. In any case, time to conclude this long drawn out series of ramblings on travelling about with a simple, short and final point.
On Making Mistakes
It is inevitable that at some point in your journey you will encounter obstacles and challenges, and most importantly, you will make plenty of mistakes. It might be figuring out that Apple Maps (you know, that app which suggest you drive off bridges and stuff) really isn’t the best navigation tool in the world and that the human mind can only sustain a few road redirections and endless roundabout before being driven close to insanity. It might be accidentally ramming something with your rental car in the middle of the night and hastily concluding that no-one will really notice anything in the morning anyway. It might be learning the difference between the center of the city as opposed to say, a random stadium across town called City Centre. It might be realizing that the place you booked to sleep is in the middle of nowhere, at the edge of town, with lots of creepy cats and looks like it could be the set of some Stephen King novel involving lots of axes and decomposing bodies in that strange attic above your room. But the Liberty Bell, Rockefeller Centre, Times Square, the Statute of Liberty – all those meticulously planned checkpoints of television and movie lore on your itinerary of things to see – are really at the end of the day, always going to be there in some shape or form. Truth be told, sometimes they just really aren’t that amazing as perhaps you would think. At the end of the day (and perhaps several months on when you are back home), the moments you might find yourself coming back to will probably not be that dull tour of Constitution Hall or that $30 ride up a glorified New York elevator, but rather, those mistakes – those small indirections and mishaps – through which you shared a good laugh with good company, learned something about travelling about and something about each other as well. Murphy’s Law states that what might go wrong will go wrong but heck, sometimes stuff going wrong is half the fun.