Sunday, July 13, 2008

Traveling writers writing about traveling

Considering how many countries I seem to be hitting this summer, it is not surprising that quotes about travel seem to leap at me from books I'm reading. Samples below.

Henry James in the Aspen Papers:

"When Americans went abroad in 1820 there was something romantic, almost heroic in it, as compared with the perpetual ferrying of the present hour, when photographs and other conveniences have annihilated surprise."

Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love

I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve met people who are great at it. Real naturals. I’ve met travelers who are so physically sturdy they could drink a shoebox of water from a Calcutta gutter and never get sick. People who can pick up new languages where others of us might only pick up infectious diseases. People who know how to stand down a threatening border guard or cajole an uncooperative bureaucrat at the visa office. People who are the right height and complexion that they kind of look halfway normal wherever they go…

Traveling is the great true love of my life…I have always felt…that to travel is worth any cost of sacrifice…I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to – I just don’t care.

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