Monday, April 13, 2009

On the Road Again

Hmm. . . I did read a great many travel adventures, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Travels with Charlie, by John Steinbeck, and many by Paul Theroux who is not only a seasoned traveler but a splendid writer, in my humble opinion. Lately Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I read while living in a downtown apartment, rekindled my yearning for what I call the GO factor and sent me back to live in my rig year-round. A book that I hold dear to my heart was given to me by a fellow traveler years ago while I spent a winter on Padre Island in Texas. Its title is The Songlines, by Bruce Chatwin. I particularly cherish this last one because its author suggests that we truly experience our humanity as nomads. The Buddha, the prophet Mohammed, Jesus and his apostles, all were nomads, and these are only a few who left their mark on humankind. To quote an Indian proverb, Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it.

But the very first book relating extraordinary adventures by a woman early in the last century was written (and lived) by Alexandra David-Néel, a French woman who traveled all the way to Llasa and throughout Tibet and eventually became a full-fledged lama. She recounts her travels in My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City. Enthralled, I read it while in my teens. It initiated my thirst for travel and left me with a yearning that will die probably only when I do.

And so, today I'm on the road again.

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