I’d Rather Be Reading

Photo from Flickr Commons

Photo from Flickr Commons

My sense of adventure is… a bit tame. I realize that. I’m a book nerd, through and through, and most days I’m pretty content to stay inside wrapped up with the latest best-selling novel. But when I spot a travel blog or Facebook post extolling the virtues of seeing the world, I get wrapped up in the dream. I start envisioning myself in Paris, a flaky and buttery croissant crammed into my mouth. In Greece, on a sandy beach with sparkling waters. Or maybe even somewhere more exotic, like Africa, cavorting with the zebras. And then I jump back to reality – because I, as hard as it is to admit, am a homebody.

I’m a lucky gal – I’ve been to Europe. And don’t get me wrong – it was amazing. But two weeks into the trip, I was getting homesick. On the train to… I don’t even know where, I wasn’t looking out the window; I was finishing Anna Karenina (sorry Dad). I remember that book more than I remember the European countryside.

I simply haven’t caught the travel bug. I often feel bad about this, and try to convince myself that I should plan a trip I can’t afford to a place I haven’t been. I’m young! Unencumbered! I should go do all the things that will be harder later on! But that just isn’t me. I have no desire to go to Germany when The Reader can take me there. I don’t feel the need to explore the wilderness, because I can join Alexander Supertramp in his travels. My pal Bruce Kirby took me all over the world, giving me my first glimpse of Pakistan, the Blue Nile, and the Canadian Arctic. I’m tired of people I don’t know telling me I should want more. (Colin Wright, I’m looking at you). Oh, she’d rather read about it than experience it for herself. Not so. There are plenty of things I’d like to experience, but the power of my imagination is such that I can travel anywhere I want from the comfort of my own home. Give me a tour guide between the pages of a book, and I’m good to go. Heck, it costs less, too. It’s you I should feel sorry for. The ones that aren’t satisfied by that.

Meg Jay says that my 20’s set the tone for my 30’s. That habits I start now, will follow me the rest of my life. And as much as diving out of aeroplanes or swimming with dolphins would be cool, I’d rather live a thousand lives through the eyes of a fictional character (thanks, George R.R. Martin). This might not be the answer for you, and that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with strapping on a 80-lb. backpack and exploring distant shores. But it is wrong for me, and I want to feel proud of that instead of disappointed.

Roy Goodman said that “happiness is the way of travel not the destination.” A good story is my happiness, and I can experience that from any place on earth. I am a girl who reads.

Won’t you join me?

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One thought on “I’d Rather Be Reading

  1. I agree with you in that you can get a lot of what a place is about with a good travel book or novel or even with the right Lonely Planet/Rough Guide. We should be grateful to the wonderful writers who can open up the world to us whether as travel writers or writers of fiction.

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