The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are. – Samuel Johnson
Something happens to our memories about a person, once that person dies. While the other was living, we may have had very few nice things to say about him, but once a person dies, our minds recreate him as saintly. Because the other is no longer around, to remind us of how imperfect that he actually was, we gild him in our memories, and he becomes an entirely different character–he becomes what we want him to be. We tend to similarly idealize countries that we have never visited.
For instance, the Paris that I have not visited is not a mere city, It is the embodiment of art. Like the artists during the 19th Century, I could expatriate to Paris and merely in doing that, I would become an incredible French Impressionist. I would wear a beret, and I would drink wine in the garden.
In Paris, I would be more Romantic and more beautiful than I actually am. In Paris, love would sweep me off my feet.
That is how the Paris that I have never seen might appear. If I never actually spend time in Paris, it can be anything that I imagine. If I ever traveled and spent some time there, however, Paris would cease to be what my mind has conjured, and I would be forced to see it more clearly.
In spite of the fact that in traveling, many of my fantasies about other places would be dashed, the ability to travel extensively is the thing that I’d enjoy, above any other thing, that I do not have.
Unlike some people, however, my desire to travel has nothing to do with Keeping Up with the Joneses, and my wanting to travel has nothing to do with my need to flash before my peers the evidence that I was able to afford to do so.
Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.- Susan Sontag
Unlike for many, I have no desire to photograph the world. My yearning to travel is more for a spiritual thing. I long to spend time with the everyday people who live around our globe. I hunger to truly know other cultures. I do not want to stop at photographing them. I want to reach beneath their appearances and feel with them.
For instance, I have no desire to visit the Queen. Instead, I want to visit England’s country people, and I want to sniff the fresh lavender that is growing in English gardens.
I do not want to spend large portions of time in International cities. I may be wrong about this, too, but I venture to say that a city is merely a city–regardless of the language that it speaks.
My desire is to visit the cottages of the world and to eat potato soup and rolls with its commoners.
I want to breathe the fresh, mountain air that is far above the city smog, and I want to share stories with the Every-woman.
I do not want to journey, simply to impress others with my ability to pay for my travel. My thirst is to increase my awareness through travel. I have a hunger to grow, inside myself; and experiencing more of the world will help me grow. Feeling with the world will enlarge my heart.
Travelling expands the mind rarely. – Hans Christian Andersen
You develop a sympathy for all human beings when you travel a lot.