If you count airport stops and short border crossings, and I do, I've been in about 24 countries. If you count six week summer visits, I've lived in six countries, on five (or four, depending how you count them) continents, the only exceptions being Australia (that is a continent, right?) and Antarctica, which I have plans to never, ever, live on. (I don't mind living in Australia, though. That could be fun.)
I've swum in the Carribbean, the Mediterranean, the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean, and even floated briefly in the Dead Sea.
I've ridden camels in the Sahara (at sunset), canoed up tributaries of the Amazon, hiked up to an insolated Korean temple for Buddha's birthday, stalked rhinos in South Africa, and woken up in some interesting places. And, I've had root canals in three or four different countries, sometimes without being able to communicate too well with the dentist, but always with anesthesia! (they aren't that bad, actually.)
It's sounds terribly exciting written like that, doesn't it? Perhaps I should add that I'm only just about to turn 40. But really, it's been, like every life,rather mundane.
In the British comedy As Time Goes By on PBS, the male protagonist has returned to England after a spending his working years as a coffee plantation manager in Kenya. Now he does the lecture circuit and has written a book called, My Life in Kenya. It sounds terribly exciting, and the publisher does his best to sex it up with wild cover art involving safari clothes and a half naked woman. But in truth, the story is rather dull, because it is just about his life in Kenya. And like most real, non fiction lives, there is an awful lot of everydayness to it.
Indeed, the only way to make real life interesting enough to engage readers is to edit out the everydayness and highlight the exotic. I'm going to try writing a seriew of posts with a little bit of both- the exciting bits, but also the mundane bits that were sometimes just a little more exciting than usual because of where they took place.