Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Art of Travel

Hello all!

I'm Reading this really great novel called The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. The beginning of the book discusses a character from the novel,
 des Esseintes, who wondered why he should suffer all the indignities of travel, when he could simply stay in the luxury of his own home and look at a painting that depicted his desired destination.

Hmmmm,  he does have a point.  Let's see; the stress of deciding what would be an essential outfit for the exact locale you are traveling to or if you could do without that super flattering scoop neck black top for a few weeks; trying to fit all 15 pairs of shoes you are positive you will need into your allotted luggage amount. Of course, at the time this book was written, only the wealthy could travel, and people were only limited by the amount in their bank account.  So he had about 15 steamer trunks for his trip! I imagine an unlimited amount of luggage comes with it's own challenges though. The character also hated the hassle of actually getting to where you wanted to be... 

"He thought how wearing it would be actually to make the journey-how he would have to run to the station,  fight for a porter, board the train, endure an unfamiliar bed, stand in lines,  feel cold and move his fragile frame around the sights...-and thus soil his dreams: 'What was the good of moving when a person could travel so wonderfully sitting in a chair?  What could he expect to find over there except fresh disappointments?"

Sometimes, in the midst of a very trying trip, it does seem easier to imagine sitting on your own sofa with your feet up and an ice coffee in your hand starring at a beautiful rendition of Thailand.

Village Beach by Thai artist

But, of course, if we never left our sofas, we'd never experience the excitement and anticipation of preparing for a trip, the unique viewpoint of staring out the airplane window down upon the clouds,  the actual joy received from interacting with people from a culture you've never met before. Learning first hand some of the quirks unique to that culture and trying to learn the best curse words in their native language. We also would not understand that even the air in a different country is, well, different. 

So while, des Esseintes may enjoy the confines of his soft arm chair to the joy of actual travel, there's no way I don't want to get out there and smell the air over there, wherever there might be!  Here's a few pics of my travels!

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