Aug 16, 2008

When the exotic becomes everyday life

“What am I doing here?”
Arthur Rimbaud, writing home from Ethiopia.
I'm a homebody. I've always been a homebody despite the fact that I am a nomad who has lived in many places. I like the comfort of my own chair and my friends often chide me for being the sort of person who doesn't leave the house for stretches of time. I have no proper defense for my eccentricities. I am who I am. It's not that I'm unadventurous, I choose to relocate often. For example, in the last decade, I have lived in 5 cities in 2 countries. My longest habitation was for 3 years and the shortest, 10 months. And while I've been in Spain, I've visited 22 city/towns in 4 countries. In my lifetime, I've been to 11 countries. I'm no stick-in-the-mud, I just like puttering around at home. A lot. I suppose for me, when the exotic becomes everyday life (same old same old) I take trips in my mind in the comfort of my pajamas. Some people would call it a waste, but I'm OK with that. Adventures aren't always external; inner adventures can be invigorating too, thank you.

In the spirit of travel both in the outer and inner world, here are some inspiring and funny travel quotes I quite enjoy:
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.”

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”

“As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.”

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure - self-determined, self-motivated, often risky - forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind - and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


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