We returned earlier this week from 10 days away, travelling primarily around the coastline of Norfolk and Suffolk. We forget, sometimes, just how interesting our own country is and often how little we have seen of it, in the mad dash to experience distant cultures and kinder climates.
Why travel? What do we want from it? What is our strategy?
Yes Mister E and I were considering these questions whilst travelling around Albania and I have continued to ponder.
Whilst away this time, however, I came across the following quote by the renowned post-war Italian poet, Cesare Pavese:
"Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things- air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky- all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it."
A path to the eternal or the imagination of a spiritual plain; I had never considered travel in such terms before but I like the idea. The discomfort, the adventure: they are not without purpose!
We soaked up the sea and sky throughout our trip and, exhausted from all the walking involved as well as the coastal air, slept well and yes dreamed. In our case, however, we ended up closing our trip by staying three nights with good friends, so cannot claim to have deprived ourselves of all that is familiar.
In any event I would certainly proffer the view that travelling in your own country is just as interesting and perhaps less brutal than going overseas.