Friday, March 24, 2006

Passionate Travelling

I tried and tried to NOT buy another book this week, but I confess- I failed. I spotted A Year in the World : Journeys of A Passionate Traveller: by Frances Mayes yesterday in the local supermarket- how dare they sell books there- I thought I was safe! You will know Frances from her wonderful book Under the Tuscan Sun, probably one of my favourite books/movies of all time. Let me recommend her latest book to everyone- it's a beautifully written travel memoir.
I have a habit of reading books with a pencil in my hand and already, after only 15 pages, this book has plenty of highlighted passages. If you've got the 'escape goat' inside you, you will identify with so many of Frances' feelings about travel:

"The urge to travel feels magnetic. Two of my favourite words are linked: departure time."

"Travel pushes my boundaries... Seemingly self-indulgent, travel paradoxically obliterates me-me-me, because very quickly- the own little self is unlocked from the present and released to move through layers of time. It is not 2006 all over the world. So who are you in a place where 1950 or 1920 is about to arrive?"

"When you travel, you become invisible, if you want. I want to. I like to be the observer. What makes these people who they are? Could I feel at home here?"

"Travel releases spontaneity... you open, as in childhood, and- for a time- receive this world. There's the visceral aspect, too- the huntress who is free. Free to go, free to return home bringing memories to lay on the hearth."

I could quote so much more- she knows exactly how I feel about travel. She writes about eating at Botin restaurant in Madrid- which we did last Fall. Her recollections of places, cities, museums are vivid and colourful.

She makes me want to travel.

But most of all she makes me want to write.


Sal DeTraglia said...

"I tried and tried to NOT buy another book this week,..."

Good Gd! A 12-step program to avoid consumption of books? If there were any vice worth having, it would be books. Especially for us expats.

BTW...I'm with you on the "reading with pencil in hand" thing. I think it's a by-product of too many years in university.



PS: I once saw Albania. I was taking an overnight ferry from Brindisi to Corfu. It was 1988. At one point, someone pointed and said, "That's Albania." Eighteen years later, I knew no more about Albania...until I found your blog.

Miss Kim said...

Hi Sal! The problm with loving books as an expat is moving them! LOL! I hope I can reveal more of Albania in my future blogs.

christina said...

I just adored Under the Tuscan Sun so I'll definitely be putting her new book on my "to read" list.

Unknown said...

I'm thinking I'll have to read this book too. But it makes me want to write too (along with a bit of inspiration I think.)

The SeaWitch said...

Hi there traveller! I am really enjoying your blog. I've read every single post you wrote here and can't help but kick myself for complaining about Greece. Living in Canada and the US didn't prepare me well for a life filled with bureacracy and rampant corruption. I'm not sure how I'd react faced with the extreme poverty you see in Albania...a baby on the street, a child lying in the road, or electricity regarded as a luxury. It's nothing short of shameful that this exists in a country in the EUs backyard. I really look forward to more of your posts and I will be linking to your blog from mine if you don't mind. Keep posting and I'll keep reading! :-)