“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
From a Passionate Nomad
Never do I feel more at home than when I am on the road. Whether it be driving past a cotton field dotted with oil rigs in my native Texas, or maneuvering the steep and twisting coastal roads in Oregon, it always feels that’s exactly where I belong.
Freya Stark, who was the first person to beat Phileas Fogg’s around the world in 90 days’ record, must have felt the same.
When I embarked on my nine-year U.S. cross-country adventure in a small RV I called Gypsy Lee, I had only one rule: No whining.
Freya had seven rules, which she wrote about in a letter to her mother. I laughed when I read them last night. She called them the seven cardinal virtues of a traveler. They were:
1. To admit standards that are not one’s own standards and discriminate the values that are not one’s own values.
2. To know how to use stupid men and inadequate tools with equanimity.
3. To be able to disassociate oneself from one’s bodily sensations.
4. To be able to take rest and nourishment as and when they come.
5. To love not only nature but human nature also.
6. To have an unpreoccupied, observant and uncensorious mind – in other words to be unselfish.
7. To be as commonly good-tempered at the end of the day as at the beginning.
I think Freya, who died in 1993 at the age of 100 and who during her lifetime wrote over two dozen travel books, was simply wordier than me. What do you think?
Bean Pat: Where’s My Backpack http://tinyurl.com/k3k5so6 Great travel blog, and today great horizons.