So stop number one on my summer travels is D.C. This is the first time that I have been to D.C. since college when I was there to perform and really it is the first time I have been to visit the city since primary school. I am looking forward to spending some time seeing the sights and visiting some of the many museums around the city.
But more so than museums or city streets, both of which I will see throughout the world this summer, I look forward to seeing some friends who, living in the backwoods of Maine, I see much less frequently than I would like. “子曰: 有朋自远方来，不亦乐乎?” “Confucius says: When friends come from afar, isn’t that a happy thing?” Well, I think it is also good to be the friend who comes from afar.
With modern technology, it is amazing what we can do to keep in touch with people from our past. I keep in fairly regular touch with people who I met long ago for fairly short periods of time. Friends from summer camp. Friends from high school. Friends who live across the globe, from India to the Philippines, from Germany to Korea. People I would never be able to talk to but for the grace of Facebook. I have the pleasure of teaching a class about how social media impacts our society, and, while there are many issues with it, social media is an incredibly powerful tool for communication.
But, a Facebook chat, a wall posting, even a Skype video chat, can never replace a meal shared. Sitting down at a table and sharing food and conversation cannot be replaced by technological means. This is one reason I like to travel, to have shared experiences with people. And this weekend, I will get to see some friends and share some moments and build some new memories.