One of the fringe benefits of travelling is getting used to alternative forms of transportation while simultaneously losing my dependency on driving. North America aside, it seems the rest of the world generally embraces public transportation, either due to to good infrastructure or population density. I remember last year, my trip from Bangkok, Thailand to Siam Reap, Cambodia unraveled like this: walk to light rail, light rail to bus station, bus to border village, tuk-tuk, walk across border, mini-bus to main bus terminal, discover that no buses are running and take a shared taxi to Siam Reap, tuk tuk to hotel.
(Tip: Take a one-way flight on Air Asia instead. It almost costs the same, is heaps faster, and you won’t have to deal with border visa scams, the no-bus situation, and/or arriving confused in a dark village)
Every time I return from abroad, I find myself going through this car de-hiberation ritual: remove the wheel chocks, inflate the tires, flush out critters that have found a home in my car, cross my fingers as I boost the engine, clench my teeth and shudder as I hear the ball joints creak to life with the first inches of movement. I should probably finish with serving green tea to complete the ceremony.
I then hop back on the roads and marvel at how different North American traffic feels. The high-speed. The sudden rush-hour congestion. The wide-laned highways and roads. Granted, driving feels much less harrowing here than in other parts of the world, but probably because I’m used to it. Likewise, a Peruvian