Monday, October 11, 2010

My Thoughts on Travel, Thus Far...

- People don’t understand travel, it’s just like walking around your house... Only it’s someone else's house. - I remember when I used to believe that travel eliminates prejudices. It turns out the truth can be really ugly! - When traveling, you are one side of a great game, and every negotiation or exchange of money, thoughts, directions, ideas are one round of it... Only you never know the rules, hold any cards, or learn anything that is valid for more than a few minutes. Those rare times you manage to win, you only know it if the other players decide to tell you, and it’s very hard to believe it was anything but blind luck. We’re the outsiders, like Cubans playing hockey, we’re just going to lose. That is part of the price of travel. - Travel murders mystery. - Anywhere you go, no matter how exotic, exciting, or intimidating, you find there people for whom it is daily life, mundane, uninteresting, normal in every sense. The true value of travel it not to adopt to and accept every exotic lifestyle as normal, but to learn that every “normal” is exotic and exciting from the right perspective. - A famous war-correspondent was asked “which stamp in your passport are you most proud of?” “None, what’s there to be proud of?” Travel is so glamorized: it’s just a matter of going! - If it’s more important for you to be comfortable than to be stimulated (whether you like it or not!), don’t travel. -The ideal traveling: Think, go, see, think again, do! Miss a step, and you’re a tourist. - I used to think travel was about becoming a different person: In Japan you learn to BE Japanese, in India you learn to live like an Indian... Ha! Travel only to enrich who you fundamentally are. If you travel to change who you are, you will smack into the immovable facts of your self like a brick wall. That is, however, probably the fastest way to determine who you really are.. - Real travel is not a break from life, it is life. Do it long enough, and you’ll never stop traveling, even when you stop moving. - Travel is following: somehow, everywhere, someone already lives there. - The world never stops moving. Travel is learning to follow its rhythm.


  1. Thought provoking - I never thought of travel this way and as a sporadic traveller, I think the rules may change a little, but all in all, you're right on these observations.

  2. i like the third from last - i joke about being a tourist in my own town, but i frequently realize that travel can frequently be about seeing something mundane from a different perspective: at a different time of day, with a different person, in a newly-opened restaurant, through a 50mm lens... it's the action of discovery that keeps me interested. it's why one of my favorite Paris memories is just a mental snapshot of a guy that looked exactly like groucho marx standing in front of giant old bright blue door. it doesn't mean anything, but although simple, it was something out of the ordinary, and it made me smile

  3. Well said: "If you travel to change who you are, you will smack into the immovable facts of your self like a brick wall."
    Thank you for pointing out the obvious! I used to laugh when people would say "Oh, I want to come to America!"... I would say "Whatever for??" You are so right that everywhere is normal... for those who live there.
    Good perspective!