I have written this post the last spring when traveling abroad was near impossible on my Czech blog. Since then, we didn’t travel through the Czech Republic as much as I would have wanted. We did the almost obligatory “empty Prague sightseeing”, but aside from that, we mostly made trips to nature. That was what our mental health needed. But I’m curious about you – how do you feel about traveling your own country versus going abroad?
I have to confess that so far I have not had a warm relationship with traveling within Czechia and it has bothered me. I was fully aware of how absurd it is to gush about some monument or place abroad while I find a similar monument at home boring. I wish trips in Czechia created at least a fraction of the enthusiasm traveling abroad did.
But you cannot command feelings.
While the prospect of traveling abroad fills me with joyful expectations, the sentence ‘we are going on a trip in Czechia’ gets at most an ‘Ok’ reaction. I usually like it but it does not contain that something… Something magical.
Maybe it is because I traveled around Czechia during my childhood with my family, my school, my children rambler group, and the Brontosaurus movement… Maybe I feel it’s trite.
Or it might be connected to my childhood memories of my first trips abroad – enchantment of night lights flicking behind the bus windows. A child’s delight at such minor things as brushing teeth at a petrol pump, feeding pigeons from hand in Trafalgar square, orange tulips mixed with blue blossoms everywhere in the streets of London… Everything was new, unusual, exhilarating…
It could be the elation when I learned that I will see the sea for the first time, aching ears in the plane, and the round rainbow, which I saw among the clouds. (Really, the rainbow when seen from a plain has a circular shape.)
Maybe it was the trip to England with my school when I was twelve. To travel far from home only with friends and teachers, living with an English family, funny language misunderstandings, trips to unknown and curious places, exploring a foreign country where everything functions a little differently… Stonehenge, white cliffs of Dover, and five-meter-long, completely vertical slide ‘Black Hole’ at Milky Way Farm, which I was at first very scared of and then spent the rest of our visit on. The feeling that I am flying…
How I got lost and found myself again on the ferry and how I felt seasick from the waves during a storm. Suspicious English packed meals with something we were not sure was peanut butter or pate (and feeding the sandwiches to ever-present seagulls). Vinegar flavored crisps which we threw at each other because we were not able to eat them. And laughter, laughter, laughter… All that was for the twelve-year-old me the greatest adventure in the world.
This feeling of adventure stayed with me till adulthood. As soon as I cross the border and hear a foreign language, everything inside me lights up with enthusiasm for exploration. First steps at an unknown place. Elation from small differences. The great feeling of being somewhere else.
Now, when I know that traveling abroad might not be possible for some time, I truly long to travel in Czechia. Maybe for the first time in my life.
I am excited by the idea that I may, maybe for the first and last time, visit various places without the crowds of foreign tourists. Suddenly I feel there is a unique opportunity that I should fully exploit. Suddenly I want to visit every corner of Czechia and I am really looking forward to it. The human brain is funny. 🙂
I am also interested to see if this enthusiasm survives after the quarantine. I hope it will.
What about you?