The Grand Tour
As a young man, I determined that I would travel the world and see the wonders she held. I set forth from my home and traveled the tourist routes that crisscrossed the globe. I saw the Pyramids, the Parthenon, the Great Wall, and the Grand Canyon.
I walked the lines in Nazca, gazed upon the Moai, and kissed the Blarney stone. I poled a gondola in Venice, drove a cab in New York, and surfed the waves at Big Sur. But in all my travels I saw things I could find in books and travel magazines. I craved newness, uniqueness, novelty.
Call me jaded, suffering from traveler’s ennui, I was bored with the ordinary wonders that the world offered me. So I sought the hidden wonders, the places that were only spoken of in native tongue, lips falling silent when strangers approached. I sought the legendary places. Lands that only appeared once a hundred years, hidden away in a mountain valley.
So I searched. I tried various narcotics and hallucinogens, but those were dead ends.
Then, I found a doorway and entered.