Sunday, December 11, 2005

Travelling....rhetorical park-up

"Who among us has not felt his heart beat a little faster at the sight of a plane soaring into a wide blue sky, or admired the fellow who tears up the gas bills? ..."

"Ghost riders. Travels with American nomads." by Richard Grant.

Whether, its 3 weeks in the sun, 3 months in Europe or 3 years around the world, we all love to travel.

The fact of the matter is of course that there always were, always are and always will be people, "on the road." Mar a bha, mar a tha, mar a bhios. Or "as it was, as it is is and as it will be." Now none of us can really be sure how our lives will turn out, what direction is home. So is travel a necessary rite of passage? To see different places, eat different things, meet different people is surely to broaden the horizon of personal human experience and become the richer for it. Previous exploration by those who came before us has created the future possibilities that we all now inhabit and enjoy or suffer...

Once that decision is made, it becomes an easier thing to keep moving than it is to stop. The act of motion is an unsettling thing. Those who live on the road; in trailers, in wikieups, in ghellies on the shores of lochs, in yurts, in bedouin tents, in a convoy parked up for the winter know this. Those with wood burning stoves and stack pipes. Who dwell in tents, in caves, on floors, up trees, in woods and up mountains, they have elected to lead a shifting lifestyle. They tell the same thing: they are uncomfortable with the idea of living in a stationery box. A static existence underpinned with the hum of a domestic electricity supply. I find the concept of end-point unsettling. It seems that there is no true terminus.

That bus ride, that plane trip, that boat crossing or that journey may have finished, but it is easier to take another. This was my feeling looking out across the Mediterranean sea to N. Africa on the edge of Europe - after a mere 2 days of motion out from Scotland to Southern Spain.

Interested? The subject of nomadism is a fine topic and you can't really do better in my view than seek out a book called, "Ghost Riders. Travels with American Nomads." by Richard Grant. This autobiog travelogue explores through "case-history" what lies behind the urge to travel within the US. its problems, benefits, lesser-known aspects of US. history and the wider implications of travel.

Answers on a post!

Chris was anon.

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