In The Art of Travel, Alain de Boton points out that while we are inundated with advice on where to travel to, we hear little of why we should go. This really hit a nerve with me, because at an alcohol-fuelled gathering of some of my lovely friends on Friday, convened to celebrate my imminent departure to South America, one of my old university pals asked me what my objectives were in making the trip. I was thrown off balance by his question and all I was able to come up with (and even that took me about an hour) was to ‘get my Spanish back’.
The question stayed with me, burrowing into my brain over the weekend, until I asked another friend if she thought I needed objectives before hoisting my rucksack on my back . Her wise response was that if I didn’t have any objectives I wouldn’t know if I’d met them when I got back. And apparently I’d previously said I wanted to go to indulge my wanderlust, always present but usually dormant, to reclaim that essential part of myself that loves to travel. Sounds a bit pretentious but it’s a start. I’ll be giving more thought to this.
If you liked this short post, you might also like these posts:
- Comfortably numb
- The art of packing lightly
- Travel to lose yourself
- This overview of my 100 countries project