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Travel Is a Monkey on Our Backs

Ernest Hemingway - "Never go on trips with anyone you do not love."

Mon, 18 Nov 2013 22:02:33

Never taste of the lotus ... or happen to travel the world by accident or design for longer than six months. Should we do so, we become addicted to travel, and we never find our way home.


Monkey on Our Backs

Never love someone that does not travel. – Andy Lee Graham

The need to share my obsession is problematic. It is the monkey on our backs that stops travelers from having long-term relationships. In so many ways, I am a butterfly, but my love, my addiction, is stronger than the love a woman – It is the adrenaline rush of entering a new city full of smiles.

Monkey on Our Backs

We are not the same. It is we, the travelers, against them, the non-believers, the ones who refuse to leave home.

What is a monkey on our backs, what does this monkey thing mean? If you travel long enough, go to places like India, where they do not eat the monkeys. You will learn more than you want to know about monkeys.

Monkey on Back - Boat Trip Rio Napo

My first big experience was on a boat between Coca, Ecuador, and Iquitos, Peru, with my Canadian friend, Tom. We both were quite excited to see a young girl board the boat with a monkey on her back. She was sexy and cute, and the monkey was lovable. Well, the monkey was her pet, and she took the hammock next to Tom. I was out of luck, or as we learned as the trip passed, I was indeed lucky.

We were on an all-night cruise down the Rio Napo, which would arrive in the morning in Iquitos. This lovable monkey on her back soon become a loud, screeching, defecating problem. There was monkey shit all over her shoulders and back. Tom was trying to move hammocks and leave her far behind. This monkey, her pet, was no longer cute. She just had a monkey on her back, and she refused to push it off.

Survivor Thailand

Second Monkey Story

I was in the south of Thailand, and I lived in a cafe on the island of Koh Taratou, the same island where they film the not-so-real "reality" show, "Survivor Thailand."

(The word, "koh," means island in the Thailand language, but the letters of Thai are very different from the Roman characters of English, so a lot is lost in translation or transliteration.)

I carried food to the island, and a monkey stole my food in the night. I saw the little thing running in the morning at the edge of the cave. OK, the monkey was not on my back, but it was annoying.

The travel addiction is my love, but it is also an inescapable obsession. It is the monkey on my back that cannot be escaped.

On the other hand, the great thing about being addicted to travel is that it supercedes an addiction to shopping.

Andy Lee Graham

PS: With a visa to Benin, I will soon travel from Kara to Natitingou for a month to keep the monkey on my back satisfied and well fed.

PPS: Are you addicted to shopping? We never lose addictions: We just trade them in for different ones. Maybe you should upgrade to the travel addiction!

Survivor Thailand 2002
A girl got on this boat with a very bad monkey.
We are afraid a monkey will climb on our backs.
There is a travelers saying,
“He who taste of the Lotus will travel and never return home.”