Walk on. Rain or shine

Who doesn’t love traveling under a blue sky, in a mild breeze and moderate temperature? But let’s face it. Weather is among the most unpredictable of all the unpredictable things you might encounter on the road. It works as no obstacle, though, for travelers who see unpredictability as part of the fun of traveling. A bit depressing it might be at first, intrepid travelers would not allow bad weather to wash away the wanderlust that grows like cells in their blood. There are ways to work around unpleasant weather conditions and enjoy the trips just the same.

Rainy days are the best time for all sorts of indoor activities. For places rich in art and culture, museum-lovers would find no difficulty keeping themselves amused and amazed even if the rain refuses to let up for days. If museum-going is not the thing, finding a nook in a nice coffee shop with a window to watch the passersby rushing home or enjoying a drink that lights up the rainy mood in a local bar might be. For bookworms, immersing in the world of books in a bookshop or a public library is a bad day well-spent. All else failed, wandering in shopping malls or watching a movie is perhaps not the most imaginative, but is always the fool-proof way to spend time.

All these only work well in big cities, though. It is quite another story if the bad weather befalls the traveler in the wild. The outlook of either walking on or turning back does not seem any more promising than the other if you are completely exposed to the weather and no shelter can be seen in visibility. This being the case and as long as there is no personal safety issue, walking on is probably more rewarding as you would at least move closer to your next destination. And when you make it at the end of the day, your messed-up state would just give you an extra reason to make the journey unforgettable, like a memento you brought back home. No regret.

One year I was in England. The rain had been drizzling incessantly all morning when my bus crossed the open plain and arrived at the archaeological site of Stonehenge. I got off from the bus. Before my visit even started, a torrential downpour suddenly attacked. A moment of hesitation arose in me. Should I go ahead or should I turn back, find shelter somewhere and wait for the next bus to take me home? I weighed the options, and it didn’t take me long to make up my mind: I might never be visiting this iconic site again. Here I am, so the time is NOW.

I started the visit right away and walked in the open space. Sheets of rain hit me hard from head to toe. Busily I wiped off the rain that got into my eyes, so much that it blocked my view. But that aside, I ignored the rain, and went into every detail that exhibited on the site that interested me. I got lost in time. Soon I forgot the rain.

When I finally finished and walked back from the site, I was soaked through and through. But I was in a state very close to my definition of catching a rare moment of le bonheur.

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