On Waking Up In A Strange Town Alone
And yet somehow I continue to persist in believing that I am not a Real Writer. Ha.
But anyway, during a brief interval when "procrastination" took the form of "brainstorming" for the article, I went online looking for cool quotes about travel, because every writer knows the value of starting off an article with a witty and/or insightful observation by someone else who is more famous. (In my case, of course, that's pretty much everyone.) I found a website with the 50 Most Inspiring Travel Quotes of All Time, #18 being this:
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
Which just goes to show you, even people more famous than you can end up veering out of "insightful" and into... well, silly.
Because let's be honest: The first thing that happens when you wake up in a strange town quite alone is, you try to go back to sleep so you don't have to face the fact that it is totally and completely and unavoidably on your own shoulders to figure out the agenda for the day. If by some chance you really just want to stay in bed "to relax", you will have to fight the guilt that will start whispering in your ear about how you are wasting an Amazing Travel Experience and that when you get home you will SO regret that you didn't do a lot of Exciting Tourist Things.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't qualify any of the above as one of the "pleasantest sensations in the world."
But there is this: The sensation of knowing that, even though you're alone, you're somewhere you've never been. You're someplace new, different. And you yourself are different in that place. Or maybe just more yourself. There's none of the usual routine and distraction and same-old that gets in between you and your own soul. And OK, yes, that's actually kind of an uncomfortable sensation, but if you can live with it, (or live through it, as the case may be), you never know, you just might be rewarded.
And I imagine that could actually end up being pretty pleasant.
PS Oh by the way, I didn't end up using an inspiring travel quote for my article. I figured Real Writers should come up with their own, so here's mine, taken from the actual article I finally sent off to the newsletter editor:
Of course, I can’t write about being in Argentina and not mention the food. One word: Amazing. Two more: HUGE portions.
Why I'm not famous yet is beyond me.