Patagonia? Nepal? Justin Bieber?
Italy gives 18 year olds 500 euros (~$540) for “cultural activities.” Museums, monuments, or sure, Justin Bieber concerts. With youth unemployment around 40% and a political system that doesn’t seem to give a merda about them, the program seeks to connect young males (let’s be honest) to western culture, hopefully protecting them from the siren calls of extremism.
It’s an interesting tool against the dissolution threatening most of the world after generations of “more money for the few.” But I’m especially interested since I’ll be taking another couple groups of fellow travelers through Europe in a few weeks. Tour season is back, and it’s occupying my entire horizon. Okay, most of the horizon. A little part of me is aware that I’ll finish in Paris on July 1, and wants to know where I’m going after that.
Back to California for family, friendships, and teaching? Easy laundry and my own bed. Perhaps writing.
Or… I could go back to Nepal. I loved it there, but what would I do without those schools to teach in? Post-earthquake efforts and Annapurna temptations…
Patagonia’s been on the list for awhile, but I don’t really love three consecutive winters, and I don’t think I’d have enough time to do it justice.
Or I could finally attend to the gaping hole in my travel experience. The sine qua non of passport satisfaction. The filthy crown jewel of international experience. That is, I could go to India. July, possibly arriving just before the monsoon starts, experiencing the infamous heat and skin-crawling pre-wash stick of those last broiling days, then rinsed clean by the falling water of the Indian Ocean, refreshing the colors and transforming the thirsty landscape.
Or…well…or anything else on earth, more or less. With no romantic artery to rupture, the veins of my connections are elastic, and they say it’s all an oyster now.
So? Where should I go from Paris on July 1?