Venezula

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      You cannot really tell how immense the sea is when you are looking at it from the beach, you know is huge, is right there in front of you, expanding for miles and you know that when you go to it you cannot just keep on walking inside it since eventually you will find your feet no longer touch the soft sand at the bottom, and despite the fact that you realize on some level all of this by simply looking longingly into this big mass of bluish-greenish water, you don’t catch upon the fact of how far it goes… not until you go above it or simply to a gazebo and from there, you are amazed.

            This happened to me, not long ago. I was sharing a nice day with my family at the beach, we love being there, at any beach in any part of world, name it we will be there because we come from a place where the sea runs in our systems, we long for it. But back to the point, it was time for us to go after spending hours bathing at the beach and sleeping under an umbrella with the sound of the ocean right next to us, lulling us into this spectacular relaxed state, I hope you know which one, is a perfect state of mind. We knew there was something up in the mountain, we could see it from the beach, and the entire we were there we were wondering, what is up there? We literally asked ourselves that very question, we could see cars going up and down that hill, little dots moving in the distance. So the time came, we got in our car and decided to go up there, we passed hotels and residential buildings, and still we went up, more and more, until we reached this wonderful place in the mountains, a gazebo to call it by some name, and it was breath-taking to see the sea from that particular spot, to feel the wing in your face, your summer dress lifting up with every current of air or lapping at your legs, we could see the island shaped like a turtle, the fishing ships below us, way below.

            And it felt really emotional, motivating and inspiring to be there. It makes you want for more, you realize how little you could be but you are not, even when you are just a chess piece in the whole wide world, you are still an important one; you can hope, wish and accomplish more than what you already have. You can do anything, the sense of freedom you get from this kind of places, being miles up, away from the noises, the city, the cluster of people that are not even seeing what surrounds them while you walk, and who only make you wish to be home just so you are not close to so many soulless humans; when you go to the top of the world or as close to it as you can be, you realize at that moment, how your life dreams can come true.

            That was how I discovered or rather how I remembered, that nature is the most beautiful thing in this universe, that untouched and unsullied part of the world. This place is in Venezuela, is the ‘Mirador Turístico Virgen Del Valle’. Many places in my country are amazing and worth seeing, and this is definitely one of those with its spectacular view and even more amazing power to make you feel.

            Can you imagine having a house is such a place? And I am not talking simply of this particular spot with its view of leagues of water, I am referring to a place in the middle of nature, a cabin in a forest, a house in a mountain, four walls by a lake, anything like this, a dwelling where you are able to let yourself go and where your mind can be as creative as it can get, I definitely can picture it.

Never give up on your dreams and remember to always chase after them, until you grasp them to never let go. 

Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Inspiration Travel Writing competition and tell your story.

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Learning, the hard way

 “Where are you right now?” his mother asked on the phone. The connection crackled.

“In Tucupita,” he responded.

“Ah, Tucupita.” – as if it was New York City or London. The young man grinned. His parents were from a small town in Germany and had never traveled much.

            The young man returned to his travel companions, the couple in the café, and related the story. They all chuckled. Later he went and got a souvenir for his parents, a dried piranha, mounted on a piece of wood. “They will love that!” he defended his choice before his travel companions.

            The day had started out bad. A stranger had knocked at five in the morning on the couple’s door in the cheap guest house. When the young woman had opened, still dazed from slumber, he had offered to take them on the Amazon River jungle tour. Her Spanish wasn’t that great, being half asleep. She just shooed him away with a “màs tarde” – later – and had gone back to bed.

            When they finally got up, she was mad. To have her sleep interrupted on her vacation was unforgivable. Over breakfast at the little café she had scrambled all her Spanish together to really tell the man off. The whole café then witnessed the scene and laughed about the man and the astounded look on his face when the tall, skinny, red-haired lady had thrown swearwords at him.

            The three walked down to the river and found another boat to hire. The tropical heat was already getting unbearable, and it wasn’t even 10 o’clock yet. Equipped with straw hats and cameras they got into the little boat and their newly found guide pulled the rope to start the out-boarder. After a few tugs the motor started and they cruised down the larger arm of the river, past some straw huts build on small islands with a bunch of little brown kids playing in the water. The first narrower arm looked promising, but the guide went on straight until they made it clear, that they would like to see more ‘jungle’. He steered the boat into a narrow river arm on the right and soon they were under a dense jungle cover. They took pictures. After some more debating they convinced the man to shut the motor off for a while so they could take in the sounds. The boat just drifted slowly along. When the guide tried to get going again, the motor didn’t start up. The boat drifted further, still staying in the middle of the narrow river arm, but fifty yards further the mangrove had overgrown the water. They slowly drifted toward the natural barrier, the guide continuously pulled on the starter rope. They hit a branch sticking two yards out of the water. A wasps’ nest was attached to the branch. The wasps were angry. Whoever it was who disturbed their calm home on the river was going to feel their revenge. The girl screamed and dropped her camera into the boat. Her boyfriend swatted at the wasps. The wasps got angrier. Some of them landed on their summer clothing, some landed on bare skin. It didn’t matter. The wasps stung wherever they sat down.  The girl had four stings and the men had two each. The river guide just looked at the spectacle. Stupid foreigners. He just sat still and waited.

            When the boat had passed the branch and the wasps went back to their nest, he tried again to start the motor. This time it started up with the first pull.

            The girl quietly licked her wounds on the boat ride back to the village. After a shower at the guest house they went out in search for a dinner place but the café was the only option in town. The same crowd sat at the same table as earlier.

            The girl took a deep breath and walked over to the man she had scolded so badly earlier. She apologized for her rude words and paid him the fare he would have earned if he had taken them on the boat ride. It was a small price to pay for a big lesson learned. The man graciously accepted it. Later he sent a round of drinks over to their table. She knew she had done the right thing. It felt good to know.

 Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Gratitude Travel Writing competition and tell your story.

By Lee Abbamonte

Travel opens your eyes and your mind to a whole new world.

Travel enables you to see the world through other peoples eyes and from other points of view.

Travel increases your awareness of other cultures and people.

Travel makes you smarter.

Travel is the best education you can receive.

Travel enables you to speak intelligently on a variety of global topics.

Travel shows you how global policy effects different countries and different types of people.

Travel brings you to places you’ve only dreamed about seeing.

Travel shows you landscapes you never thought were possible.

Travel shows you what real beauty is.

Travel shows you that everything is beautiful in its own way.

Travel makes books and television come to life.

Travel makes adventures happen everyday.

Travel makes dreams come true.

Travel gives you a sense of enormous accomplishment.

Travel gives you something to look forward to to.

Travel gives you options.

Travel is a lifetime journey that is never the same twice.

Travel makes the big world small.

Travel humbles you.

Travel puts things into perspective.

Travel shows you what poor is.

Travel shows you how unfair this world can be.

Travel shows you people overcoming the longest odds to live their life to the fullest.

Travel shows you triumphs of the human spirit.

Travel teaches you how to say “Cheers” in 30 different languages.

Travel teaches you the International language of beer.

Travel teaches you to appreciate wine and the beauty of vineyards.

Travel teaches you to try new things.

Travel makes you yearn to do new things.

Travel teaches you the difference between a traveler and a tourist.

Travel teaches you to become a traveler and not just a tourist.

Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. I am a travel writer, travel expert, global adventurer and have appeared on NBC, CNN, ESPN, GBTV, Fox News, Jetset Social and have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Smart Money, Slate, OK! Magazine, Peter Greenberg radio and many others. I’ve visited 306 countries and am one of the world’s most-traveled people.

“I believe in globalization of everything including people. I believe that I am a citizen of Earth. I believe that people around the world are at their core, basically good and the same. I believe that more people should experience the world and the way traveling can open their eyes and minds to different and exciting things. I believe in just being myself. I believe in life.” – Lee Abbamonte