Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Travel Stories

I am reading a collection of travel stories by women and what strikes me the most is that each story doesn't tell me more about the place...but about the women themselves, what they're going through, etc. The countries they were in simply served to underscore all that.

And I thought about Christope Graizon who insisted he was a traveller rather than a tourist (he made a very clear distinction between the two) and pointed out that we go neither to see nor to do, but to find different levels of our personal dementia. That resonated with me although at the time I was only a fresh-faced 22-year old.

And now I've chucked my job and am busy sloughing off identities my feet have become itchy and I want to take to the road. Again. I want to travel and discover new lands and see with new eyes. I want to go where I am not part of the context and simply observe and write. Or not write. Maybe interact. Trip gaily through market squares where my feet leave no imprint on the cobbled stones.

One of the best presents I ever gave my cousin Praby was a travel journal of our time together in Bali. I wrote it out painstakingly day by day, taking note of the little happenings that meant something to us, and wouldn't mean anything to anyone else. I called it Sunset in Bali because my dear cousin never got to see one. There we were on the beach, and there was the sun setting, and she had one woman braiding her hair, another painting her fingernails and another harrassing her to buy mats. One look at my face and nobody bothered me much. In fact one American dude we met in Bali, in comparing us said Praby was a kitten and I was the next best thing to wrestling with an alligator.

Anyways, coming back to travel stories, I am dusting off the old wanderlust and heading off for parts unknown. Finally. I put it on hold and did what I thought was the sensible thing but now I know that sensible doesn't involve me being utterly miserable.

I cannot force myself to fit in. I can play at other identities for a while but then I need to cast them off.

And there are no solutions at the bottom of a brandy glass. Although I do intend to get pleasantly smashed in each and every country I visit. Preferably in the company of strangers.

3 comments:

Dark Angel said...

Sounds absoluetly fantastic...to take time off and travel the world or certain countries. The thing I love the most about my travels is in getting lost with the "locals" and not doing the touristy things :)

Good luck in satisfying your wunderlust and experiencing pure travel delights...

john calica said...

Wow. I can almost smell Sunset in Bali!!!

Jenn said...

Cherie: Me too. I love getting lost with the locals...talking to them, becoming a part of their lives temporarily or more permanently if they add me on Facebook... :)

JC: Yeah...it was lovely. One of the loveliest holidays ever.