We have all participated in a conversation with ourselves or with another…”if you could go anywhere, where would that place be?” While viewing some beautiful pictures on Instagram and Google+ I realized how ridiculous that question is. How many places have a common appearance? What then makes it distinct? Could I name that place if someone presented me with an untitled picture?
My trip to France this past Spring yielded a reality that far too often my inclination towards a place is predicated on an idea of that place, one removed from any possible first hand experience. But that is the very idea of traveling…to have that experience. Yet France was a country of no appeal. Surely the art, history, food, etc., warranted some respect. Was it all my time spent studying German? Listening to the “Ugly Americans” who viewed France as some kind of threat?
In retrospect it is embarrassing, just as much as my disdain for New York City once was. It is never the place, but rather the idea that it is not “That One Place”. And how can “That One Place” ever be qualified if one remains in the comfort of the places of memory.
Mountains over beaches. Rivers over oceans. Snow over sun. Now flip them all. Mix them up. Go.