Lisa and Joel's Excellent Adventure: Issue 23

by Lisa A. Listro and Joel A. Sward

Today, Sunday, July 29th, day 391 of Lisa and Joel's
Excellent Adventure is our first full day back in the
States.  It sure feels strange to be back in the good
ole' US of A after last leaving our home country back
on August 1st, 2000, heading to The Cook Islands.

When we look at the whole adventure, the entire 13
months and counting, and where we are right now, we
can feel a definite transition taking place.

Any great undertaking is filled with euphoria at the
start.  Even getting ripped off twice within 24 hours,
within two days of starting our trip, couldn’t dampen
the excitement we had for that which lay ahead. 

Traveling during the early days -- the drive across
the U.S. (east to west), visiting New Zealand,
Australia and even to an extent The Cook Islands --
provided a gradual departure from our own customs and
ways to those more foreign.

Parts of Southeast Asia, Nepal and India were absolute
culture shock. We could feel the definite transition
from the Western to the Eastern World, from the First
World to the Third World, from North to South. 

Although we became more accustomed to being in foreign
places and situations, the feeling of being somewhere
“a long way from home” continued through Africa, The
Middle East and into Russia.  Now things are changing
again.  We have gradually returned to a world we are
more accustomed to.  It is as if we have ridden a
large wave with the crest being the Eastern world and
the trough the West.  We started low, rode high into
the unknown, and now we are returning to the placid
underbelly of the wave.

As we return to a world which is more comfortable, we
think it is important to remember the cultural,
natural and differential elements we have experienced.
We are taking away from this adventure a greater
sense of our global position and ourselves.  The
impact we can all have on each other and the world  --
the entire world, “theirs” and “ours” -- is amazing.

But unless we are careful this impact will not always
be positive.  We need to take into account everything
when we make choices that could affect the world in
which we live, and the world that will remain for
future generations.

Fear not the apocalyptic, end of the world fanatics.
Yes, there are forces at work, cells of terror that
threaten basic human freedoms.  Yes, the world can
seem huge and at times the potential of our impact may
seem small.  But, if there is anything this adventure
has taught us, it is that the world is actually a very
small place.  We are all on this crazy ride together
and anything we can do -- any action, any gesture, any
attempt to listen and understand what those who are
different than us are trying to say -- will create a
positive ripple effect and we will make a difference.

Even though we are back in the States, our adventure
is not yet complete.  In order to circumnavigate the
globe, you must return to the point from which you
started.  Since our adventure started in Boston, way
back on July 3rd of last year, that is where we must
head to complete our journey.

Today we woke up and starting looking for a cheap car
to take us across the States, so stay tuned for more
of Lisa and Joel's Excellent Adventure.

Lisa and Joel

Attached photo: In front of Big Ben, London, The
United Kingdom
(c) Lisa and Joel's Excellent Adventure 2001. All
rights reserved.
Lisa Listro and Joel Sward are currently unemployed,
homeless world travelers.  For more information on
their adventure see
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Email/Newsletter Update #23
July 29th, 2001