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October 07, 2011


"Before this trip I hadn't been in London for eleven years. I was curious to see how it had changed, but what I didn't expect was the mirror it held up to me, reflecting how I had changed, too."

This is a beautiful post, Beth. Thanks for this!

Beth... only that I loved this post, and only that I've told you this before, but again I take such delight and something-deeper-than-comfort in absorbing an example of someone so comfortable circling into herself, and holding a space of such calm. It's less inspiring (even if I devoted everything to attaining this I'm not sure I'd be capable!) than it is reassuring; it makes me love an otherwise-sometimes-unnerving future, and I am grateful.

Safe travels for the remainder of your trip, and so many thanks for the stories--

such a beautiful post and how lovely to read such an open and honest account.
I share many of your feelings except that it was Paris that brought me out of my shell and where I discovered my true self

How wonderfully you write and such a pleasure to read this today. x

Beth, it's so refreshing and enlightening to read your inner-outer travel notes, seeing through your eyes and feelings. A privilege and a joy. Thank you.

The best posts are when you share and here you share a lot. About your last sentence, one of the interesting moments this week was rehearing something I had heard years ago but this week was all over the Internet:Steve Job's 2005 commencement speech to Stanford students.In it he speaks wise words about death and how liberating our appreciation of its nearness can be.We realize maybe only then " There is no reason not to follow your heart"

Beautiful and heart-stirring, Beth! It's almost a cliché to say that travel changes us. Life changes us for we do keep growing, at least we hope we do as you have done. Thanks so much for sharing these deep thoughts and feelings much of which I can deeply identify with but can't express the way you do.

Dear Beth, even in my severe cold-addled state, I take great pleasure in what you've written. I will come back and say more when I can. And welcome back to you, too, dear woman.

So good to read of another person who found travel disturbing and difficult - I felt it was something other people, friends and family, were obviously suited to better than I could be, that it was only for the brave and the strong, I was clearly a wimp, and so I cried off it at a time when I had the youth and freedom to do it. Now I have grown into myself more, I'm sure I could do it and draw much more deeply from it, but unfortunately, following your heart means making choices which preclude other choices.

Living permanently in a foreign country, embracing simplicity (frugality/poverty!), quiet and space, committing to the ties of home, marriage, dog etc means that far-flung adventures are for the moment not very feasible. But then adventures can take many forms...

I have loved your photos and notes of your travels, and particularly like the travelling Aphrodite here!

Pardon me, Beth, I just have to second Lucy's comments which apply to my life as well, especially: "embracing simplicity (frugality/poverty!), quiet and space, committing to the ties of home, marriage, dog etc means that far-flung adventures are for the moment not very feasible. But then adventures can take many forms..." Minus the dog in our case, but replace with offspring. This chair and the internet with so many wonderful blogs provide a lot of the joys of travel and connections without the discomfort, stresses, expenses and pollution of travel. A few shorter trips on our own lovely corner of the world have given us immense pleasure, just like you have been doing in your part of the world, Lucy. Maybe that's a good thing for our suffering earth as well, not that I'm criticizing your trip, Beth, for we did the same two years ago.

I loved reading this. It made me smile with gladness for you. I also have travel issues, including motion sickness when I was young, though the rest is different, relating to childhood abuse. I've overcome my travel reluctance for higher purposes--I traveled in Europe, the UK, the US and Canada for my books, and to China 2x for my children. I like being in new places if I'm there long enough to get used to them. Getting there is another story. I have to say though that the 2nd time to China because I'd been there before was much easier. I knew I'd had less culture shock in China than in the suburbs!

What a generous essay, Beth. As for London... I lived there preThatcher and spent lots of time there otherwise in my earlier life. I find it almost unrecognizable now. My last trip five or so years ago made me so sad, I felt as though I never needed to return. After reading your London posts, I feel I should go back and revisit it with a kinder, less jaded eye.

I love this post, Beth. That very self-awareness you once had (and with which I can identify) is what makes you aware of details now, lets you drink them in. Think of the other kids who wandered through crowds barely noticing their surroundings, absorbed in their own teen conversations. I bet they grew up to be adults who wander through crowds, barely noticing their surroundings. It's nice to carry some things forward while we gain confidence and understanding of our own place in the world. Thank you so much for sharing. It really warms my heart.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.