What Sunsets Around the World Have Taught Me
You never appreciate a sunset more than you do while travelling.
It seems like there's something more magical about a sunset away from home.
I've experienced sunsets in a number of places, in different countries and a variety of cities. I've been mesmerized by the changing colors in the background of the skylines. Hiding behind mountains. Disappearing over desert sand dunes. Sinking slowly into the ocean's horizon with no land in sight. Seemingly grazing on rice fields. Whisking away behind orchard trees. And of course, the classic sitting on a beach glimpses through palm trees before finally being lapped up by the turquoise sea.
Every time I experience a new view of the setting sun, I feel calmer. Renewed. Despite the fact that really what it represents is the end. The end of the day, journey or adventure.
It took me awhile to realize that sunsets are easy but sunrises are hard. You'll always be awake for the setting sun.
According to a small typewriter written slip of paper in the Cairo Museum, the ancient Egyptians believed that the rising sun was carried up by a pair of baboons. They believed this because of how the baboons would scream while the sun raised - waking the priests and everyone else.
But really who could blame them? You’re enjoying a great sleep and then suddenly it's bright light penetrating through your eyelids. I sometimes silently scream in the mornings too.
I seldom have woken up on purpose to watch the sun rise. It's too much trouble. Not worth the effort to roll out of bed, and zombie walk, hike, taxi or crawl to the window to view. You can always just catch the sun setting. It's just as pretty. Plus after experiencing night time life culture its basically impossible to do it.
There is only one sunrise I experienced that didn't just burn through my eye lids.
While on an overnight bus in Vietnam, my friend and I had the trip from hell. From having a broken seat that slide forward with every brake (which happened a lot), not having any sleep because of the bus driver's honking (which happened an unnecessarily aggressive amount) to a bus driver that was slapping himself to stay awake. Not to mention the middle aged man who decided to sit beside the bus driver to keep him awake but then was feeding him sips of a mystery booze.
I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to survive the ride. You start creating scenarios in your mind as your over tired mind kicks up the crazy a notch.
It happened slowly. Had it been a smooth, gentle, quiet ride. I would have missed it. There was a small glow rising on the horizon.
I watched the red sun rise over the rice fields. I had never seen a sun so red before. Or colors so vibrant. And unlike the sunset, it didn't hide away, it kept rising.
I felt calm, (partly because I survived the night) calmer than I had been in what felt like a very long time.
As I watched it rise it reminded me that no matter how disastrous a night may have been, the sun will always rise. It doesn't really settle.
And like the sun; you don’t really have to settle either. Especially if it’s because it’s the easy choice.