If traveling is searching then being at home is what you've already found. Each journey we take is a quest for relaxation, excitement, joy, peace, contentment, wisdom or taste. Whatever the reason travelers will continue to search, and our destination should be our ideal grounds for the quest.
I'm in Munich, Germany with my buddies for the largest festival in the world, Oktoberfest! If you're going to plan a "guy's trip" or a "girl's trip" get out of your comfort zone, leave "home" and go somewhere unique and fulfilling to the group. Let's see,... would it be more memorable to hang out in some casinos and go golfing?... or should we carouse in a German Beer Garden with people from all over the world and debate if Obama is a place in Turkey or the US President? No brainer.
Four hours! That's how much longer it takes to get to Munich than Vegas. Four! That's watching Titanic and having a disco-nap on the plane. Four hours and you can be enjoying the largest, classiest and most diverse festival on the planet.
Oktoberfest may surprise you because it's not a bunch of drunks sitting around drinking cups of warm beer. The German's don't mess around and they're very proud of the integrity of their festival. Families and children are welcome, the grounds are spotless, the food is delectable, the drinks are served in glassware, it's well patrolled and safe, a majority of the patrons are dressed in lederhosen, and the tents are beautiful and lively.
Maybe you're uncertain of the benefits for exploring and trying something new? It's also possible that enjoying a liter of cold beer and a warm pretzel in the Bavarian Alps with your closest friends is not for you?
When you're planning your next journey keep in mind the quest for certainty can block your true quest for meaning. Uncertainty and unfamiliarity are what cause us to develop our potential. Go out and get "unfamiliar",... culture shock is a hell of a lot of fun.
Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Travel On This Trip:
1. If you consume 4 Liters of beer and don't have to use the bathroom you were severly dehydrated from your flight over. Drink water and don't eat 2 pigs-knuckle sandwiches once you land. What?
2. In over 200 years of the festival it's only been canceled 19 times. World War I & II and some disease outbreak. You KNOW they partied during the wars anyway.
3. In 2011 it's estimated a record 7,000,000 liters of beer will be consumed during the festival. (I'm certain our mothers are proud of their sons and our teamwork with the Germans.)
4. Oktoberfest was lengthened to start in September to take advantage of warmer days and more sunlight. I'm sure money had a hand in it as well.
5. "Prost" is "Cheers" in German and you say it A LOT. If you're having difficulty with a language barrier with a fellow attendee you can always "PROST"
Well... I won't lie, familiarity is good once you return from a week in Europe. After a week of pork and beer I destroyed a cheeseburger and coke in the Chicago airport. Returning home to everything "found" is always comforting but it wasn't two days later until our emails were requesting "where next?". At this point my friends and I don't know where our next quest will take us, nor do we know what we're looking for,... heres's hoping we never find it. PROST!
"Dude!... yesterday was epic!... how you feeling today Sully?" - Labatt
"Oktoberfest- 1 Sullivan- 0 but today is only the 2nd quarter." - Me
Addtional photos from this journey can be found by clicking here FlickrTravelWithTed.com