Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Why Flamingos?

I don’t have a good answer to the question.
I don’t have a quest, or a cause. It was just one of those online meanders that led to a walk to the library and back to the internet and somehow along the way the idea for the trip stuck.  I had been pondering trekking in Asia, an expedition to Antartica and walking in New England but the Flamingos won the day.

I began plotting in October 2010, and my diary for the occasion reads nothing more momentous than: ‘be fun to see if I can put it together- “round the world” ticket perhaps?’

 The plan was to take two months off work in the middle of 2011 and to go and see Flamingo’s.  Tanzania and France were early frontrunners as my Flamingo destinations- despite the birds being also spottable in Namibia, Bonaire, Portugal, the Galapagos and many more destinations. 

But while trip planning rolled happily along my answer to the question did not improve.
The truth is I have reasons they just don’t roll off the tongue easily, or perhaps they don’t seem worthy enough as an explanation. So I tend to scrunch up my face and say ‘because’.
My answer is more like a jumble of ideas than a nicely arranged soundbite, so when you are asking the question and I am looking at you a little blankly what I am really trying to say is:

It is possible that it is because of whimsy. 
Because they are beautiful and strange and larger than life. 
Because Lewis Carol imagined them as mallets in the Queen of Hearts croquet game. 
Because they are pink and I like pink. 
Because they live in arid landscapes. 
Because I thought they looked good in neon when I went to Las Vegas.
Because it makes me smile.

If it is an absurd plan I am ok with that. The absurd is worth embracing I think. I only hope the Flamingos are more happy about it than they were about being used as mallets. 

At the moment it is about a month until I head off and since the initial germ of an idea took hold a few things have happened to change life the universe and everything; and I will try to write a blog or two about that before I meet my first Flamingo. 

 And just in case the question should arise, I am also lacking a good answer to the question of what this blog is about. The nearest that I have come up with is that it is a tool to make me write while I am traveling, and to share my travels with anyone who is kind enough to take an interest.  Something more worthy may arise as I go along but I am not holding my breath.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice answer to the question! I have to say that whenever I have told someone that you planned a world trip around the central theme of flamingos, a flash of fanciful delight has crossed their faces. Or maybe I am projecting. I am delighted about the concept; and I had forgotten all about the Alice in Wonderland aspect. Now am more delighted... and it seems somehow even more perfect as a trip for you! x

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