Following the trail of enchanted pages
Books transport me to a different world. I leave one state of being and return to another. For a little while, I’m somewhere else, and often someone else. As a child, I roamed the world through fairy tales. The Brothers Grimm opened the door that eventually led me into the deep forests and enchanted land of Hans Christian Anderson. My travels didn’t stop, though, because I then visited fairy tales by the French, the Irish, and, after crossing the seas, the Japanese. It was a wondrous year. The next year flew by as I explored the world again, through religions.
Travel has been an accepted part of my life. Two weeks after I was born in Pennsylvania, my parents, their two dogs, and little me ended up in Buffalo, New York. As an Army brat, there was no end to travel in the real world, so I guess it’s only natural that I pursued travel in books. To this day I am easily led astray by the well-turned phrase of a good travel writer.
Travel writers play the Pied Piper
There’s no one way to describe a travel writer, but most have the heart of an adventurer. They live to explore, but what they do even more is keep meticulous records of their experiences so that they can share them with the world. It’s not enough for them to simply live the life. No, like the hero at the end of the journey, they return to the tribe and share the elixir found in their discoveries. Sometimes it’s their very life that gives us the most hope.
To see the world in a different way
When it comes to going beyond the borders, the James Holman’s A Sense of the World takes you there in more ways than you might imagine. Most of us, at one time or another, entertain the thought of traveling around the world. Most of us, stay home. We may do a bit of armchair traveling, or maybe we take a vacation here or there, but real, full-bore globe-trotting travel isn’t something we do. The reasons why we don’t vary. They’re strong enough to keep us home, but what if there was another, more powerful, more sensible, reason why we should stay home? What if we were blind?
A Sense of the World is a true story about an Englishman, who, in the late 1700s, traveled the world alone — did I mention he was blind? If you ever fall into a slump, if inertia sucks the very life out of you, grab this book and start reading. James Holman, known as The Blind Traveler, can teach us a thing or two about living life to its fullest. His is an empowering story that will stay with you for a very long time.
This week Armchair BEA encouraged us to step outside ourselves and run and play across a virtual landscape filled with books, authors, writers, and, most especially, readers. The folks at Armchair BEA are the Pied Pipers challenging us to discuss our roles in the literary universe and to put down the books and get acquainted with one another. How have you gone beyond your borders? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts.