Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's OK to Stay at Home

"Travel is not compulsory. 

Great minds have been fostered entirely by staying close to home. 

Moses never got further than the Promised Land. 

Da Vinci and Beethoven never left Europe. 

Shakespeare hardly went anywhere at all - 
certainly not to Elsinore or the coast of Bohemia."

 - Jan Morris


Do not on any account attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once. 

Protractors may not be used.


Jake DiMare said...

If we will not challenge ourselves then for what do we endeavor?

Pandabonium said...

Those folks lived before the era of fossil fuels and cheap airfares...

Anonymous said...

There are some folks in southern Maryland that have never been outside of their respective counties. Likewise, I've known some further inland -- still in Maryland -- that had never seen the Bay or the Atlantic in their entire lives.

yarg said...

In Voltaire's "Candide" the hero travels the globe looking for "the best of all possible worlds" only to learn the lesson "cultivate your own garden."
I have been pursuing that option a lot lately. I attribute this to sloth, seasonal affective disorder and depression, but it's always good to have solid intellectual justification for your actions - or inaction as the case may be.

Tillerman said...

Well put yarg. Sometimes spending a winter revarnishing the handles on all your gardening tools is better for the soul than jetting off to some crowded beach in the Caribbean to swill rum drinks with a bunch of yahoos.

Tweezerman said...

Hell, We're not going to argue about who Shakespeare really was? (because he may have been well travelled if he was more than a lowly theater director)!

O Docker said...

Da Vinci and Beethoven never left Europe?

I didn't even know they traveled together.

JP said...

I still think Shakespeare went sailing to defend ol' Blighty from the Armada. And then there's Johnson, who said that a man who is tired of London is tired of life, so who needs to travel outside the M25?

Nah, I don't agree: travel broadens the mind, though it is nice to return home back inside that long jammed up loop of tarmac.

In particular its ok to stay at home and read a book when its cold and dark out there. I might even have a suggestion for you (see latest post).

Tillerman said...

I wish I wasn't too mean to read the full article from which I think this quote is the opening words. (It is available for $3.95 in the NY Times archive.) Considering that Jan Morris is a travel writer and one of the most traveled people on the planet, I assume her message is somewhat more complicated than, "everyone should stay at home."

Perhaps she is arguing that not all travel broadens the mind? There was a time when travel was difficult and challenging and always something of an adventure. Now it's a relatively cheap product that pretty much anyone can buy on the Internet and have the whole experience planned and managed by someone else.

Buying a package trip to go and drink rum drinks with some other yahoos on a beach in Spain is not quite the same as being the Times' correspondent on the first successful Everest expedition or going to Morocco for sex-assignment surgery (both of which he/she did.)

And it's always a little dodgy to argue advice for all of us average people in the great unwashed masses by using geniuses like Shakespeare and Beethoven as role models.

bonnie said...

Well, when I stay home I can go get pizza from this guy. Nothing wrong with that.

Laurie said...

I love this post. Thanks so much for sharing and starting this discussion.

It seems lately I've ran into another crowd of sailors who did "this" or "that" and therefore think anyone who hasn't is absolutely crazy. They are sooo annoying. I much prefer any cruiser, traveler or stay-at-homer who marches to the beat of their own drummer *and* let's others do the same.

I happen to love the gentle perspective of a yacht-broker-come-cruiser who noticed many of his clients making excuses for never leaving the dock: do what makes you happy, it's your boat (life) afterall. It's not a competition, sheesh!

And, just the other day, I was reminded of another great perspective on traveling from one of our local old salts who said something to the effect of: "I've been travelling and sailing for 15 years. It's much harder to stay in one spot and actually deal with stuff".

Thanks again for posting. Mind if I cross post on my blog?

Tillerman said...

Thanks for that perspective Laurie. By all mean, post this on your blog.

It's good to see such tolerance for stay-at-home sailors, especially as Laurie has a blog called So Many Beaches on which the most recent post is about a transit of the Panama Canal!


I guess I posted this quotation because I am continually torn between my compulsion to travel to different parts of the world to sail a Laser and the knowledge that I already live in one of the best places in the world for small boat sailing, not to mention a hotbed of Laser sailing fleets and Laser regattas. Did I mention that the district in which I live has more Laser class members than any other district in North America?

I oscillate. Some years I travel a lot. Other years I just enjoy all the pleasures of sailing in New England. I'm never quite sure which side of the equation will win out.

Tillerman said...

And yes, I do find those sailors who blog about how everyone should "cast off their lines" and "follow their dreams" - (implied - follow the dream of the writer which usually seems to mean doing boat maintenance in exotic locations) intensely annoying.

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