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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”   Mark Twain

When I first read this quote by Mark Twain, I felt a warming sense of peace. The words spoke to my very own lengthy journey of travel overseas. For me, these opportunities to uproot, leave, and set foot on foreign soils, is too great an opportunity to forego. Although twenty years is a long time from now, I think it’s entirely possible that I will look back on these experiences with more fondness than aversion.

I certainly feel displaced. This feeling of geographical, cultural and social displacement has been prolonged this time, making for a hazy acculturation period. More often than not, we find ourselves longing to be back in the security of our previous lives, and the comfort that was afforded us there. I suppose we will find those comforts once more, only a little further along on our journey.

What I love about Mark Twain’s quote is the sense of challenge and voyage. Travel by intercontinental airlines probably doesn’t capture the sense of unknown that travel by sea offers: “throw off the bowlines”…”sail away from safe harbours”….”catch the trade winds”…


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What I’m reading now

"Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel," by Laura Byrne Paquet (Fredericton:Goose Lane Editions, 2007) "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping malls, and the Search for Home," by Pico Iyer (Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2000). "Outliers: The Story of Success," by Malcolm Gladwell (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008).

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