“Tourism is essential for the future of world heritage. But without proper management, we can easily get out of control.” ~ Bonnie Burnham.
I am out of control. I am a stumbling man. Being a tourist in a foreign land, I’ve stumbled this past week — paying too much, ordering the wrong thing, saying the wrong phrase. I know, travelling is often about surrendering and not being in control, but my pride and wallet tell me otherwise.
I had to do a u-turn to get a better look at them. There we sat, the elk and I, staring at each other. Eventually, another car stopped in front of me, and then, one on the opposite side of the road. The elk wandered into the trees. I restarted the engine and continued east until the trees turned to sagebrush and the rocky hills to grasslands and the asphalt spread wider and wider until it was a freeway going fast into places that were nothing like the great mountain behind me.
On really hot and humid days in Toronto, when I feel imprisoned by the heat, that’s when I think of the cottage; the walk up the long country road on a hot day to go to the corner store. It seemed interminable. When I got to Tremblays Gas Bar, I bought a root beer or cream soda and Eatmore chocolate bar. Then, there was the long walk back and I’d head straight for the back bedroom that smelled like wood to change into my bathing suit.
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Published in the October 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)