Hello Dalai

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When I first read the article in the August/September 2016 National Geographic Traveler, I said to myself, “Yes, but….”  The article’s name is “Joy to the World” and in the first line the Dalai Lama says about traveling in the world, “Trust leads to happy days and happy lives.”  Sounds like Hallmark card sentiment to me now that yet another mass shooting–this time in Munich, last week in Nice–has occurred.   This issue of NGT’s main theme is 14 TRIPS FOR BLISS. Is that possible anymore?

The Dalai Lama is smiling benevolently in the picture above the words.   I haven’t had the impression that he is naive.  He has suffered banishment, political  persecution, etc. China was angry when President Obama visited with him last month.  He has travelled all of his life and appears wise at the age of 81.  The Dalai Lama says in the article that when we focus too much on problems “We can make it worse.”  When we dwell on what is wrong, “It appears unbearable.”  That sounds right.  Orlando, Paris, Dallas.

The article’s author, who isn’t credited, goes on to reminisce about his or her first travel experiences and calls them bliss.  That would be the word too for my early travel.  Who can forget that first trip to London, Alaska, Australia, etc?  The author goes on to mature travel, and bliss changes to quest.   As I traveled, the focus morphed from bliss to quest for knowledge to the extent that the newspaper I worked for called me Mr. Explore, and I began to desire and plan travel to difficult places–Unalaska, Russia, Argentina, etc.

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The author talks about going to Bhutan, a country that supports and promotes Gross National Happiness.   This Asian country it the model for Shangri-La.  A national survey, however, reports that less than 50% of the Bhutanese are happy.

The Dalai Lama advises “traveling really can make the world a happier place because it forces us to trust one another…a warm heart is more important than a brilliant mind.”     Whether this is sentimental muttering or the truth is subject to individual interpretation.  In any event, I’m going to Armenia in 2 months.

Hank

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About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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