Daily Archives: January 28, 2009

Randy Ford Author-on when traveling it doesn’t pay to rush

       To not have seen the Taj Mahal when we had the chance is now to me one of my biggest regrets.   It is a story of a missed opportunity, as our train passed close by Agra or from New Delhi we could’ve easily taken a special train there.   But we used as an excuse we can always go back.   It illustrated a pattern for us; we had missed other spectacular things in similar fashion: there is no telling how many of them we missed.   And to have a guidebook, and sometimes even a map, would’ve helped.

      A unique sight…the splendor of a greater hornbill flying through a forest canopy…we took it for granted when we first saw the bird on Sumatra.   That was how we allowed assumption to give us an excuse to move on.   It seems now as if we could’ve watched the bird all day long, but then we thought we would see many of them.   Our story is we rushed through that virgin forest thinking we had entered a vast one, when in reality we wouldn’t go through another forest like that again.   That was the only greater hornbill we saw.   Peg always said it was a lesser hornbill, a debate that lasted, back and forth, for days.

      A Methodist minister gave us the keys to his hilltop chalet; going there was like traveling back to the world of the colonials.   This was in Malaysia.   It was high, but it was impossible to tell how high because mist covered the hilltop the whole time we were there.   Maxwell Hill, beautiful, breathtaking, but a place for once we couldn’t pass through.  And in the midst of flowers, this hilltop, splendid with paths and views we still couldn’t fully appreciate it.   It was too cold and with the mist…., but we didn’t miss an opportunity this time. We didn’t miss it because there was no road beyond there, and the only way out was the way we had come.

      These experiences, perhaps because we missed so much, or perhaps because we traveled for so long, now serve as a lesson.   But I suppose at the time it showed our state of mind, or at least mine.

Randy Ford

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