[quote text_size=”small” author=”Paul Theroux” author_title=”Travel Writer and Novelist”]
The two impulses in travel are to get away from home and to pursue something – a landscape, people, an exotic place.
Certainly finding a place that you like or discovering something unusual is a very sustaining thing in travel.
One day I was with a French heiress-turned-backpacker riding on the back of a truck with our feet dangling off the side through the desert streets of Giza, Egypt.
We were having a typical “competitive traveler’s conversation” about all the places we’ve been to. With all her riches, she won by sheer numbers.
While smirking with pride, she says in that universally sexy accent, “I travel to see beauty.”
Not to be outdone again, I say in response, “Beauty is everywhere, that’s why I travel everywhere.”
Dumbfounded, she smiles and says that’s beautiful in French then locks my arm with her’s, leans her head on my shoulder and whispers, “Okay, you win this one.”
That’s how this quote was born.
Like most young boys and even grown men, “beauty” was a word I used to relate only to women, cars and maybe the sight of a nice cold beer on a hot summer day.
But our perspectives change with experience, particularly with long and extended world travel.
Constant and concentrated exposure to extraordinary sensations such as with recreational drugs, gourmet desserts and sexual pleasure eventually (sometimes quickly) desensitizes you to them. Diluting their potential and weakening the effect of their power.
Beauty is immune to this degradation.
Through travel, I have witnessed the meaning of beauty exemplified, repeatedly and it never gets old.
Other than the grand sights, the little things like plants, currency and street lights all begin to look beautiful the more you notice how these same things are so different and characteristic in each country.
Then there’s the more obvious beauty that surrounds us; architecture, art, decay, skylines, wildlife, landscapes and most of all the people of all walks of life.
As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so what better way to behold all that we can with the eye than by traveling the world.
Diversity + Travel = Mathematical Beauty
[The featured photo was taken with a Hitcase equipped iPhone.]