Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Sisterhood of Travellers

To be honest, right now during the last week I haven't had the slightest urge to crack open a book or even pay attention to anything on the pages of the usual mags I flip through. Not even a quick pop into the library for my weekly browse! My mind has been elsewhere, it seems, but I don't fret and never do, because I know the eventual tug toward a nice-looking cover or a word that catches my eye always pulls me back from the drought.

My book choices flow like cycles throughout the year. Fiction for one month, history the next. I can binge for ages on travel lit, which I notice happens more during warmer months, although I always keep watch up back in the travel section for anything new that jumps out at me.

Surfing, street food, endless stars in a desert sky. I don't know what it is, but a great travel read really seems to feed the soul and open the mind to all of life's possibilities. I tell you, reading travel lit (written by women especially) makes me feel normal. It's hard to explain the feeling, that itch, the bug, the lust to move and explore. It's like being part of some secret club--these strangers, these comrades. So comforting to read the very thoughts and feelings I have expressed that no one but a traveler could fully understand. Favourites like Tales of a Female NomadGo Your Own Way: Women Travel the World Soloand the great read Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves, all written by women who took the leap.

Their stories aren't always happy or fantastical, but that's the point. They can be as simple as ordering some food, cramming onto a packed train, being chased by monkeys, a hot kiss against a hostel door, and the occasional scam, theft, missed connection thrown in when you least expect it. (Isn't that how it always goes?)
The best kind of travel—the kind I wanted to experience—involves a particular state of mind, in which one is not merely open to the occurrence of the unexpected, but to deep involvement in the unexpected, indeed, open to the possibility of having one’s life changed forever by a chance encounter.

- Elizabeth Eaves
Who knows what will happen, where the turn you make will take you? It's scary, it's adventurous, it's travel. Isn't that an exciting thing to think about? I love how Eaves references the Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime" before some travels, and it's so fitting. YOLO just isn't gonna do.
You may ask yourself, what is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself, where does that highway go to?
You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong?
You may say to yourself, my god, what have I done?

P.S. I am so keen to check out new release On the Road, opening at the Bookshelf Cinema Feb 8.

- Ashley Varangu

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