Just yesterday 84th anniversary of Nicolas Bouvier’s birth passed (1929-1998). I would like to share one of many thoughts on traveling found in Le vide et le Plain, Carnets du Japon 1964-1970.
“Too many people expect from the journey too much without thinking of what travel expects from them. They wish to get healed from their particular imperfections with the change of the place of residence, and the passion of the first weeks- when everything is new- gives them a temporary feeling of cure. However, their own ego which they wanted to leave at the train station or in the harbor on a day of departure, finds them in a beautiful view- this annoying ego which they thought they have already dealt with- and they blame the country they visit.”
Books of Nicolas Bouvier make me think about my attitude towards traveling, visiting new places, meeting new people, trying new things. At this stage I am thinking about my expectations towards the travel around the world. I know there is no way to foreseen the results of the travels and the change caused by it. So it is much wiser to think about my own expectations and motives and consider their grounds. I will keep you posted as my thinking process takes a lot of time.
As for now I would like to encourage you to read books by Nicolas Bouvier. In one of the interviews, he admitted that writing is a very difficult activity and even after years of writing and getting appreciated he was spending years of each book. He needed FIVE YEARS to complete his first novel: L’Usage du monde. Five years. He was writing his book twice as long as the travel took itself.