W A N D E R L U S T W E D N E S D AY
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Michael Crichton is the author of several hit books that were then made into films. Jurassic Park and Congo are my two favorite books to movies that I’ve both read and seen. This book was an interesting insight into Michael Crichton’s life. It started with him in medical school and showed how he evolved from that into writing. Then, Crichton moves on to his experiences traveling (both physically and internally) and how these trips have affected his life. It’s an interesting book of personal anecdotes- some of which I thought were quite insightful, some of which I thought were just okay. He had some pretty intense experiences on a regular basis so it sounded quite exciting to travel with him- from murderers jumping in his back seat in Jamaica, to almost getting the bends, to almost falling of ledges in the Himalayas… It sounds like risky business. I loved his more methodical style in writing. It seemed more scientific, but was still entertaining. I would recommend this book to give you a case of wanderlust. Here are five of my favorite quotes from this book:
“Soon I fell into a pattern of exploration punctuated by some sight that would leave me unexpectedly exhausted, driving me back to my room to recuperate. But it was humiliating, in a way. I was an accomplished traveler. These little experiences shouldn’t bother me.”
“Thailand was the first Buddhist country I had ever been in. I was surprised by everything- the gaudiness of the temples, the way people behaved inside them, the flowers and the incense and the yellow-robed priests. But I also found that I liked being in these temples. I wasn’t sure what I liked, certainly not the exhausting ornateness, but something. I liked the feeling. I liked the way people behaved in a temple. I knew absolutely nothing about Buddhism. I didn’t know what the religion taught, what its principles were. In one of the temples, a Thai who spoke English told me that Buddhists didn’t believe in God. That seemed pretty extreme, a religion that doesn’t believe in God. I found it interesting, that I liked this religion, because for many years I had been vociferously atheistic and antireligion. But here in the temple it was just… people. I went to a bookstore and started to read books on Buddhism.”
“Then I realized that, although I saw myself as an accomplished traveler, I was in fact terribly culture-bound. I had visited only a small part of the world- North America and Western Europe. I began to think of all the palces I hadn’t been. I had never been to Africa. I had never really been to Asia. I had never been to Australia. I had never been to South or Central America. In fact, I had never been to most of the World. It was time to find out what I had been missing.”
“The other thing is that the horizon is curved. There is no doubt about it. Sunrise is an arc that bends down at the sides. I can see with my own eyes that I am standing on a spherical planet. But the actual sensation is uncomfortable, as if I am viewing the world through one of those curving wide-angle lenses.”
“I realized then that I had defined myself too narrowly. The experience of climbing Kilimanjaro affected me so powerfully that, for a long time afterward, if I caught myself saying, “I’m not a person who likes to do that activity, eat that food, listen to that music,” I would automatically do out and do what I imagined I didn’t like. Generally I found I was wrong about myself- I liked what I thought I wouldn’t like. And even if I didn’t like the particular experience, I learned I liked having new experiences.”
Have you ever been surprised to learn that an author or actor / actress you like is also an avid traveler? I think it’s interesting to see all kinds of people’s views on travel and what inspiration they gain. What are some of your favorite travel stories? Who inspires you to travel?
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