Author Mark Stephen Levy
- Mark Stephen Levy
- Denver, Colorado, United States
- I was so inspired by my adventures while traveling throughout Europe, India, Nepal, Tibet, China, and other exotic locales that I had to write something. Then one day early last year, an idea started to take form quickly. I was finally enabled to weave some of my stories and integrate them into one of the best love story adventures to come along in years.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
WHEN TIME STOOD STILL
Earlier today I was being very self-deprecating with a good internet friend. She told me she was all banged up and bruised from a rafting trip and that she fell out of the raft in alligator infested waters down a river in South Africa. Then she hit some rocks, some other rafts floated over her, and yet she lived. Amazing that she did and thank goodness! I said that all my years of being a couch potato has paid off.
Okay, both cases are extreme. Most people don’t do what she did, and I’m not always being a couch potato. But then it got me thinking that within one internet exchange, we represented two types of people: those that are adventurous and those that aren’t. Neither category doesn’t make one better than the other.
I view traveling the same way. There are two kinds of people: those that travel and those that don’t. But then you get into a couple of sub-categories. Some people travel to National Parks, or Disney World. Pretty safe destinations, I think. They’re fun and beautiful, but safe. My favorite sub category is extensive exotic adventure traveling or EEAT: leaving your country and your proverbial comfort zone for a long time.
This category is not for everybody. But you might surprise yourself. If you are at first full of reluctance before leaving, by the end, you’ll have wondered why you never did this before. Throw yourself to the whims and mercy down the path of least expected. You’ll be blown away!
What happens out there? Why will you be blown away? And what does that mean, blown away? Basically, however you viewed the world before these adventures, after, you will be different. You’ll feel different. People will recognize this difference within you. They may not understand it, and they may not want to feel what you feel. But you’ll feel it, and it stays with you forever.
Let me explain. When in third worlds, safe third worlds, people will come up to you and want to speak with you. And if their intent is just to chat, and to try out their English, or find out where you are from, it usually is a happy occasion. This exchange leaves you feeling happy too. And if your everyday existence is like this, you begin to realize this is a cool way to live and you’ll want to keep it going. Move on to the next town, or country and you never know who you’re going to meet and what you will see. Eating the local food is incredible. Then browsing in the local markets, and stopping by for a cup of tea. It can turn into a whole day, and then its dinner time. And you feel good, relaxed…at peace with the world, and with yourself.
What is the most complex part to these kinds of extensive adventures is arriving back home. Adjusting to the everyday life of work and routine is so anticlimactic. So much so that if you knew how difficult that part of it was, you would never leave in the first place! But don’t let that stop you anyway.
Here’s my situation: clearly I belong in the EEAT category. Or I did. I rhapsodize and reminisce about it so much that my whole life’s goal now is to get back out there. But I did satisfy one part of me that longs to get back out there and just can’t at the moment. Writing OVERLAND.
When you read OVERLAND, you’ll see how much of what I had lived in these travels, is the story. Although there is plenty of fiction and imagination, it’ll be interesting to speak with people to ask me what stories were real. On some snowy Sunday, I may read my book again and actually count how many moments of my travels are in there. If I had to guess, I would say dozens. The scene when the song “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller suddenly plays in the most remote and random of circumstances, you’ll wonder where that came from.
I heard it in a pub waiting for the ferry to cross the English Channel from Dover to Calais, France. It was a just one of those magical memories that stood time very still. And very inspirational indeed! You’ll find it in Chapter 23.
Please feel free to make any comments on what happy moments made your time stand still.