Saturday, April 2, 2011

An argument for travel

"“Don’t go there,” the know-it-all, stay-at-home finger wagger says of many a distant place. I have heard it my whole traveling life, and in almost every case it was bad advice." Paul Theroux

In 1978, I took my first trip overseas alone when I studied in London for a summer semester. Worried friends begged me not to go, and I know my mother lost some sleep over the trip although she never voiced her worries to me. If their concern surprises you younger folk, remember that in 1973, the Provos had begun regularly targeting London landmarks, including bombing the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, shopping areas and hotel lobbies. I remember going to Sainsbury's to get my groceries and having to open my bag to a young British Army soldier who rooted through it with one hand while cradling a very large weapon with the other.

I like to think of myself as adventurous, not reckless. I may have left college and gotten on an airplane to New York with only one suitcase and $200, but I did have a return ticket to New Orleans tucked away in the lining. Just in case, you know.

The opening quote comes from an article in this weekend's New York Times on Why We Travel. For all my beautiful, not know-it-all but concerned, friends and family who are lovingly urging me not to go to Mexico this summer, please don't worry and enjoy the article! :-)

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