I’d like to update that famous Lao-Tzu “A Journey of a Thousand Miles” saying for the modern age of air travel to read: “A Journey of 23,244 Miles Begins With a Single Mouse Click.”
Now you might be saying to yourself “23,244 miles seems like a very large number — and also a suspiciously specific figure for Justin to pick.” 1
23,244 miles is almost the full distance around the Earth at the Equator.
It is also, as close as I can figure it, the exact distance of a round-trip flight from New York City through Frankfurt, Singapore, Bangkok that will return me to Luang Prabang, Laos in two weeks time.
Where The Journey Begins
Seven months ago, my wife and I arrived in Luang Prabang while on our honeymoon. We walked into a community library one afternoon and met kids who wanted to practice their English with us. We met Carol Kresge who ran the library. We talked with Justin Spelman, who was pitching in and helping around the Library while starting up his own science education organization.
It was only a few hours of our time, but something about that library and those people stuck to us. Some places are like that — leaving a residue on your thoughts as you continue your travels.
We kept in touch with Carol and Justin from the moment we left. We read more about each of their groups, wondering if we could help them out in any way.
And now I’m returning to Laos to do just that.
- If you like to use metric distances when you talk to yourself, feel free to substitute “37,407 kilometers” [↩]