Right now, I should be in Nepal, wrapping up hiking in the Himalayas. I should have pictures of Cambodia and Vietnam to share, thoughts on a solo birthday trip and hours on janky busses under my belt. A year ago, I was flying to Japan with friends for a long-planned adventure, my first to Asia.
Instead, I’m pondering past journeys and the what-ifs of my travel plans (and let’s be honest, life decisions). To pull me out of this funk though, I was thinking about something a friend said to me early in this self-isolation thing (it was actually only 3 weeks ago but might as well have been another lifetime). I was reading Under the Tuscan Sun for the first time, having been obsessed with the movie for years and years. The movie is a classic chickflick with pasta and wine about a woman (and Sandra Oh pre-Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve) who gets divorced and goes off to Italy to find her appetite for life, buying a rundown villa and putting herself and the home back together again. Basically, Eat Pray Love before Elizabeth Gilbert went through her life crisis and made it into another book/movie.
Under the Tuscan Sun, the book, however, is another story. It is literally the story of restoring this villa in Italy with the usual cast of characters and builders, hot water in toilets and beautiful landscapes. No personal drama, no romance except for the love for the Italian countryside. At any rate, my friend commented I was “traveling through reading” and it got me thinking about how books and movies are so enjoyable because they transport us to another reality. We travel.
In this manner, I have been to Tuscany, I have visited Neverland, fought the Dark Lord and survived, gone rebel in a dystopian future America, helped discover America, traversed the Arabian desert, all from the comfort of my home. I can still imagine going places and being somewhere else because it is going to end at some point. Reading, watching, self-isolating, they all give us a chance to be dreamers again, to slow down and go off into other worlds within our minds.
So I’m curious. What books or movies (or songs) have transported you? Where shall we go today?