Friday, May 15, 2009

The need to travel

"...I have often noticed that the eyes of sailors and hillmen are free and quiet. Countrymen, too, when they walk among their fields, and women who surround themselves with love in their homes and think rather little of what lies beyond, old men contented with the end of their journey, and painters, carpenters and all makers, when happy in their jobs - these and many others, men and women who have found their true vocations, share the same atmosphere of certainty and peace.

I have noticed, too, that the business of these people is never such that it makes them consciously share in the wounding of their fellows, whether through rivalries, or vanities, greed or envy; not only are they free of such impulses in themselves, but the happiness of their condition is such that they are largely exempted from watching this strife in others, either through the solitude of their lives or through the absorbing interest of what they care for.

For it is to be hoped, and I think believed, that the worried look visible on so many city faces is more due to the constant witnessing than to the constant infliction of pain - though both must take their share in a competitive life. Those who are so happily free from this affliction have no need to travel; they can sit quietly and continue to be philosophers at home.

"Page 5, "The Philosophy of Travel", by Freya Stark
Views from Abroad, The Spectator Book of Travel Writing

No comments:

Blog Archive