The Power of the Pen or the books that you read as a child, can greatly influence not only your desire to travel, but your need to travel.
Who Influenced Me to Travel?
My desire and need to travel was due to a certain man. He made the world come alive to me as a child. I read of his travels, his encounters with people in countries so very different to his own and certainly different to mine. This man was able to paint portraits of people that showed their weaknesses, their foibles and their strengths, all set in locations that were alien yet exciting and exotic, to my immature brain.
What was My Author Like?
My friend was pompous, controversial and unorthodox. Raised an orphan, he spoke fluent French initially before becoming more confident in English despite having a lifelong stammer. He married, had affairs with women and a lot of men. He was totally promiscuous and made no excuses for that. He trained as a doctor refusing to become a lawyer like the rest of the family and was a spy during the war. He was inherently shy but was able to build pictures of people’s characters by watching and listening, and having an extrovert friend who asked the questions that my friend couldn’t. Despite his shyness, he was a very sought after person socially, for not only his literary skills but also for his flagrant disregard for social mores.
I didn’t know all of that until a long time after I had devoured his books, over and over again. I still have them. I am even more impressed that he was a renegade and did not bow down to society, that he was a man with few boundaries if any.
Why did his writing resonate with me?
His vignettes of the people he met on his travels from Haiphong to Rangoon and the South Sea Islands provided nothing but inspiration to me and still does.
So this particular man encouraged my enormous buy cialis lilly desire to travel, and that is why my first trip was to Samoa, based solely on his advice. He told me to stay at the legendary Aggie Gray’s and I did. He told me to go to church and to watch the locals in their finery and to listen to them sing so beautifully amidst the tropically colourful churches, so I did. He told me to talk to people, to see their lives through their eyes and to understand more about their culture.
He sent us to Siam, now Thailand, and the ancient capital of Ayutthaya and I am sure that we have trod the same path. He sent us to Angkor Wat and the Bayon Temples. It is interesting to think what it must have been like when he saw it, a fair while ago. He has sent us to nearly every one of the places that he visited. So he has a lot to answer for, and my response is my unwavering gratitude.
Meet Somerset Maugham
Yes, this man was pretentious and polemic and a little arrogant, but he started me on this never ending the journey of discovery of finding our more and more about not just other people, but indeed about myself.
You might have heard of him, as I believe a few people also know him. His name is Somerset Maugham.
One of his most famous works, ‘A Gentleman in the Parlour’, was in effect his travelogue of his journey through Burma, Siam and Indochina. A fellow writer and one that neither Somerset Maugham nor Virginia Wolf despised, was William Hazlitt who perhaps summed up Somerset Maugham to perfection when he wrote:
“It is great to shake off the trammels of the world and public opinion and become the creature of the moment and to be known buy no other title than ‘The Gentleman in the Parlour’ ”