My travel writing class is watching “Eat, Pray, Love” this week. We are taking a little respite from reading travel stories to watching one (though I am having them read an excerpt from her book as well).
The point I am trying to make is this: Don’t watch a film about traveling if you are not traveling. It will only make you want to travel, and then you’ll be miserable because you’ll be wishing you could experience something new and exciting and exotic. Don’t get me wrong, I love my students, and I adore teaching this class. I am learning along with them, but am also imparting some of my own experiences along the way.
One of the things I’ve learned is this: I need some more experiences.
My husband said these words to me over dinner Saturday night when we actually made an effort to go out on a “date”: “Doesn’t teaching a travel writing class make you want to pack your bags and travel somewhere?”
He beat me to the punch. I was going to ask him when we were going to go somewhere. On a plane. To another country. Or at least off the east coast.
My intelligent, well thought out, and remarkably clever answer came only after a slight delay: Duh?
Yes, of course. Yes, I want to go somewhere.
I think what I love about “Eat, Pray, Love” so much is her own personal growth and discovery. I feel as if every time I go somewhere, whether near or far, I grow. We all do.
Anyway, my point of this post has become mired down with thoughts of travel, when I actually have no plans to go anywhere in the near future except to a friend’s wedding this weekend in Norfolk, Virginia. While it will be lovely, it’s not exactly that jet-setting notion of sipping a glass of wine at an outdoor trattoria on Piazza Navona that I’ve conjured in my head.
My reason for this initial post was to showcase one of my favorite quotes from Elizabeth Gilbert from her book. It’s about happiness. It’s the quote above. It’s about how we’re responsible for our own happiness. How it’s up to us to make that happiness happen.
In the end, we, seeing as how both my husband and I relish travel, should be responsible for creating our own happiness by arranging to travel to a place of great intrigue, and one that we can comfortably and officially call our “upcoming travel experience.”