“Travel pushes my boundaries.
When you travel, you become invisible, if you want.
I do want.
I like to be the observer.
What makes people who they are?
Could I feel at home here?
No one expects you to have the stack of papers back by Tuesday,
or to fertilize the geraniums.
you have the delectable possibility of not understanding a word of what is said to you.
Language becomes simply a musical background for watching bicycles zoom alongside a canal,
calling for nothing from you.
Travel releases spontaneity.
You become a godlike creature full of choice,
free to visit the stately pleasure domes,
make love in the morning,
sketch a bell tower.
as in childhood,
and — for a time — receive this world.
There’s the viceral aspect, too — the huntress who is free.
Free to go,
free to return home bringing memories to lay on the heart.”
Excerpted from A Year In The World,
by Frances Mayes