Quote: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,
and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired
by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

~ Mark Twain

Flowerbed constellation in India.


I am posting this photo with the quote for 3 reasons: 1) I think it's really pretty and I like it; 2) it was taken by my friend, Shyam, in Gurgaon, India; 3) Shyam pointed out that there are stars in the middle of the leaves.  I think it can be ok to vegetate now and then while you dream of the stars.  :) 

Here is what Shyam says about the photo: "…happy that a New Year smiles at us! A reason why I clicked this pic – from where I looked at it, I saw lots of stars in the middle of those leaves! I wish lots of stars to you guys in 2012!"

Dario and I met Shyam through Couchsurfing.  He stayed with us for a few nights when we lived in Naples.  He managed to stay with Couchsurfing hosts every single night of his trip!  Naples was the end of the run and he had a really hard time finding a host.  We weren't actually hosting at that time, but we were both members of the local emergency request group, saw his post, and decided to step up to the plate.  We are forever "chain completers" and happy to be so.  Shyam is one of the coolest people we've met through Couchsurfing and we really hope to see him again some time — maybe stargazing in India.

What are your dreams for 2012?


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  1. I love the idea of looking at something with a different perspective and that’s exactly what seeing the stars in the leaves is all about. We haven’t participated in coach surfing yet, but I love the idea of it and hope to join soon.

  2. The stars in those plants look really good. Before I read the post I thought it was going to be about what different cultures value as beautiful. :)

    1. I thought about somehow including the issue of prejudice in there, but I think that gets up a lot in travel blogs and I just wanted to tweak the focus a bit. :)

  3. I love that quote and think there’s a lot of truth to it! Love those leaves and the stars. Cool. Hope you get to see Shyam again, too!

    Re: 2012…my dream is to have some amazing adventures, possibly in Indonesia, and to finish editing my travel memoirs and to get the book out there to people. And to try to have a certain amount of balance in my life.

    1. Yes, let’s hear it for balance! …especially if it’s in Indonesia. :D

  4. what am I NOT dreaming about for 2012, you should ask :)

    1. I know! So many possibilities, so many incredible things in the world. It’s a great time to be alive. :D

  5. I’m contemplating the starts in the middle of the leaves. Pretty pic. Loved your story about Shyam. I’ve got a a few dreams for 2012 — same ones I had for 2011. Time to figure out how to turn them into reality.

    1. I believe in you, Cathy! Can’t wait to see what amazing changes and adventures await you. :D

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