A Great Quote to Describe Traveling (and Life, in General)

Back in April, I posted about Obvious State, an Etsy shop, run by writer/illustrator Evan Robertson, that sells gorgeous illustrations of classic literature quotations. It’s been a while since I’d visited the site, but the other day, My Modern Met ran a post showcasing several prints. This one stuck in my mind:

Original Illustration, Charles Dickens quotation

I thought that was such a great way to describe travel. I’ve definitely found that no matter how bad a situation I’ve been in, I’ve never looked back on a trip—or a place—and decided that it was just worthless. In fact, overall, I have nothing but positive memories about pretty much everywhere I’ve been. And so many of my trips were far from perfect: I’ve gotten seasick (or just sick, in general) in more places than I can count, feared for my safety on several occasions (like the time I thought we were being kidnapped in Costa Rica…or when we visited Nicaragua’s Corn Islands during a spate of violent attacks on tourists), nearly froze to death on a few occasions (in the Bolivian desert…and in freakishly cold weather in Hawaii!). And so on.

But it’s those stressful/annoying/uncomfortable situations that make the best stories once you’re back home. They’re often the ones that define a place for you. They’re also usually the ones where you can look back and laugh at how ridiculous you were—and how you’re so much smarter now. 😉 (And yes, I know, I’m lucky that nothing really bad has ever happened to me while traveling.)

Robertson, himself, was thinking of his own travels when he designed the print. Here’s how he describes it:

A traveler fades to black, leaving behind winding paths of cobblestones in the street. Inspired by one of my favorite places to visit and to leave and to revisit in Paris.

And, on a deeper level (cue the dramatic music), that Dickens quote applies to life, in general, as well. I’ve found that once you truly let something go and leave it behind, then you can start to forgive and move on. And that’s definitely something to remember!

(The quotation, by the way, is from the Dickens novel Little Dorrit. I hadn’t heard of it before!)

(Image via Obvious State)

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4 comments

  1. Great post Heather! I disagree though, I’ve definitely had negative experiences – but only ONE place in the world to which I would NOT ever want to return to – Morocco. I’m sure Fes or Casablanca is nice, and everyone’s experiences are unique, but I had a pretty awful time in Morocco, and would never choose to go back. The city itself was beautiful, but the people were very mercenary. My experience there was saved by a few positive encounters – the taxi driver who took us through the back streets, forcing donkey carts to go backwards even when he wasn’t supposed to, the young man who led us to our restaurant and then refused all payment – but overall I would not ever want to revisit the Red City.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Peggy! Since I read your comment, I’ve been trying to figure out if I’ve forgotten–lol or blocked out–a place I’d never want to return to. I haven’t thought of it yet, and I suppose I’m still lucky, in that respect!

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