We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
Upon returning to the hotel after a rough day of touring and having little leisure time, I am in a quandary over how I use that one precious hour…
…before it is time for dinner and more sightseeing.
Do I lie down and rest?
…read and study the travel guide about the following day’s itinerary?
…read for pleasure the book I brought… and end up falling asleep midway through one page.
Do I write in my journal, knowing that to put it off, I will get further behind?
Did I say soak my tired feet and wash the day’s grime off?
It is frustrating.
To be a writer, one must keep a notebook and pen with them at all times, to jot down an incident or unusual expression just heard or to record the guide’s explanation that is interesting and noteworthy at the time.
I regret I have not always kept up that discipline. The trip takes a toll on you physically and mentally. Because of the continuous visual, auditory and aromatic stimuli, it is easy to lose one’s exact recall of the moment.
*Taken from my journal while in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was so weary after touring museums, temples and much walking that I reflected on and wrote about one precious hour instead of indulging in the above choices.
Lesson learned. Build in leisure time.
Refreshed from a hot meal we now head for the water puppet show and a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, beautifully lit. A satisfactory way to end a day…except for my shower that awaits me and a soft pillow to rest my traveler’s head.