“But curiosity and adventure taunted me. Had I become a soft tourist . . .? Was my vagabond stamina, ridiculed by my friends in America before departure, really as feeble as they prophesied it would be?”
-Richard Halliburton, The Royal Road to Romance
I pondered the idea of returning yet again to East Asia with no slight amount of reservation, for I have been there off and on for the past three and a half years. I am comfortable there, and I know my way around culturally and linguistically. To tramp in the hills searching for hermits and mendicant monks would be wondrous, though I was not viewing these travels as much of a challenge. East Asia has become a way of course to me- it is a region of the world that has oddly become my surrogate home. While lying in bed one night in a hotel room outside of Buffalo, I jumped to a start at the realization that I was completely content about the travels that I would be embarking upon in only two weeks. My sleep was not interrupted by thoughts of what obstacles may befall me, what unknown excitements lied in store for me, what dangers, mysteries I would be presented with. My mind was unburdened, I was content. It became apparent that I could not go to Korea right now, that I could not yet return to East Asia. I knew then that I needed a new horizon. I knew that I needed to go to the Sahara.