“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.”
Paul Theroux in Papagayo, Costa Rica 2007
This one made me chuckle a bit.
When we arrive safely home to the familiarity of our lives we tend to forget the misfortunes that occurred abroad. Our travel tales become embellished and glorified during the storytelling process. I think by nature we are programmed to recall the pleasant memories more so than the negative ones. Isn’t it funny how the human brain works?
“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.”
– Rudyard Kipling
Our sense of smell is the strongest that is tied to memory. I have the nose of a bloodhound which is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing when I am smelling the roses of the Rodin museum in Paris, but a curse when the breeze in Bangkok is wafting the smell of live eels for sale in the open market up my nose. These smells will never escape my memory.
By smelling a country we are smelling their culture. The smells give our brain a way to decipher where in the world we are standing in that moment because we can associate those smells with similar more familiar ones. On that note, even if they are similar to smells we have previously experienced, they will be distinct and native to that country alone.
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
Ha! I love this one because I believe that you can truly experience a person for who they are when you remove them from their comfort zone. Take someone out of their element and their true colors come out. Travel with someone should be a prerequisite to any marriage.