Posted by: Lotus Light | April 16, 2010


Looking at train tracks, imagining
where they will take me to, is a secret pastime of mine.  I love visiting
airports for the same reason – watching the planes land and take off, imagining
arriving at some exotic destination, seeing new things, hearing new sounds and
watching the worlds of strangers.  Travelling gives me so much chance to
glimpse into different worlds, different lives and different ideas.

Arriving is not the only pleasure gained from travelling for me.  Sitting
in the train, watching the farms and cities pass by, seeing the station guards
salute as we pull past them, watching boys jump in creeks as their mothers wash
clothes, farmers tilling the soil or talking to each other in the middle of a
field.  All of these pass by me, and I imagine lives I will never know,
wondering how the people look at the world, wondering if they look at the
passengers seen for seconds at the window, and wish they, too, were travelling.

Curled up in my seat, I also have time to read and to think about my
life.  Travelling gives me a perspective of myself that isn’t easily
available when I am busy with work, friends, daily life.  this perspective
of me, a small being being carried by large engines across a wide land, over a
wide world, makes me realise how little I know about the world and its people,
how silly and petty annoyances are, how my own concerns are so small when
placed in this much much broader context.  Alain de Botton asks why we
choose to leave our homes, where we have a place, and in our eyes at least, a
seemingly large place and role in the world to embrace this smallness.  He
answers "… not everything which is more powerful than us must always
be hateful to us
."  We feel small when we make mistakes, we
devalue ourselves when we are petty and nasty to others, we feel humiliated by
loss of power or relevance as we age, or our circumstances change.  But
the feeling of smallness created by travel gives ‘small’ a chance to be
positive, to be affirming, to accept that the mighty can be inspiring.

I can carry this feeling home with me, tucking it into my mental souvenirs, but
unless this souvenir is taken out and polished fairly regularly then the
stories it can tell us, the lessons we have learned from it, become encrusted
with daily life and we lose that understanding.

I am looking forward to my next journey.



  1. You are the one i know…Always on the journey…Life is becoming so coloful with traveling…

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