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Travel (by) stamps

Some journeys are private…

1 …where we venture out alone, with few provisions.
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2 Everything is a surprise, or a delight,or a wonder, or a challenge…
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3 to be enjoyed or dealt with on our own.
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But sometimes we travel with others. Then there are more decisions to make.

4 How shall we travel? How shall we move from here to there?
Underwater?
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5 By helicopter? Or skis?
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6 Or the unknown and as-yet unnamed?
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7 Perhaps we will take a plane…
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8 …to Spain?
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9 Or a tiny boat with only room enough for five…
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10 …to visit a mountainside where homes crowd atop each other.
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11 Perhaps we will sail away in a ship out of the mists of time…
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12 …to an island fortress long forgotten?
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13 Or take a rickety, rumbling cable car up a hillside…
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14 …to discover a medieval village unaffected by modernity?
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15 Warmer climes, you say? Then we will travel by camel…
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16 …and stay with Bedouins…
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17 …perhaps enlisting the help of a local herdsman…
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18 …to enjoy the wildlife…
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19 …from a safe distance…
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20 …for them…
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21 and for us.
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22 Then maybe you’ll tell me you can fly
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23 …and we discover a land forgotten by time.
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24 Maybe you’ll prove to have secret talents and we will travel in a small black box…
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25 …to visit a large black box.
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26 While there, we fall in love with minarets…
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27 …and towers…
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28 …even discovering that we now notice towers (bell, clock, and otherwise) in Western climes.
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29 We are grateful for the new eyes our travels have given us.
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30 We can fly to islands…
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31 …where animals outnumber people.
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32 There, we can ride a horse into the forest…
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33 …to discover those who stand out …
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34 …and those who hide.
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35 Or we can take a canoe…
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36 …along the shore…
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37 …to see animals at a safe distance,
both large…
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38 …and small.
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39 Even America has undiscovered lands…
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40 …filled with animals who are majestic and rare,
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41 or common and equally beautiful.
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42 p42

43 Travelling further, we see beauty everywhere we look.
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44 Some of it stark…
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45 …some of it serene.
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46 We decide to take some of the beauty home with us, to decorate our table.
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(This was assembled by hand in a 65 x 80 centimeter travel book. I wrote the words on the left side, and glued the stamps to the right. The book was purchased at least 12 years ago as a Christmas gift, yet it never found a home. It stayed in my gift basket all that time. Most of the stamps were given to me by a friend in a massive box from an estate – it was a man’s entire lifetime collection, unsorted, some glued together from damp. I sorted them into categories over a long weekend. That alone took at least 10 hours. Then I sorted out the stamps for this and worked on it over the course of a few weeks. I scanned, cropped, and uploaded this in a day – that took another three hours.)

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