The Library – My Window to the World
A cloistered life
You could say that I lead a fairly cloistered life. I spend most of my time at home and around my estate. I guess a lifestyle like this is to be expected of me – a stay at home mum of a 17 months old baby. But yes, I do occasionally long for a holiday. I long to be in a new place; to be free to explore a new city.
Particularly, after my viewing of the mystery series Elementary, a modern rendition of Sherlock Holmes starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, I have developed a strange interest in the city of New York. I want to visit New York. Suffice to say, given my current circumstances, it is quite an impossibility.
The Library Visit
On a recent visit to the library, wheeling my son in his pram, I allowed myself the indulgence of visiting the travel section. I found myself a guidebook of New York replete with photographs of various landmarks. I flipped randomly to a page and allowed myself a five minute read of some interesting facts pertaining to the Empire State building.
Somewhere in the middle of my reading, my son managed to inch his pram close enough to the book shelf to pick up a book. It was filled with words and completely without pictures. Yet, very curiously, that book kept him entertained for a good ten minutes, allowing me ten more indulgent minutes to fill my mind with interesting details of New York.
I left the library feeling gleeful that day. I felt lucky that I had been given the gift of fifteen minutes to indulge my wanderlust. In a strange way, I felt like I had just visited New York personally and flew back. Odd.
My Past Travels
In my earlier years, I travelled a great deal, for leisure, work and competition (I used to do a fair bit of Taekwondo sparring). My travels took me all around South East Asia, Korea, Japan, Australia and even to London and Norway.
I should have enjoyed those travels more. But I was always poorly prepared. As with most people in their twenties, I was busy juggling the many commitments in my life and had barely any time to research enough about a place to appreciate it in all it’s glory.
In addition, in spite of outwardly success, I was at quite a low point in my life. I did not have many friends and I was not close to any of my family members. My poor psychological and emotional health created a large barrier between myself and the beauty. I could never harness as much joy from my travels as I ought to.
What I did do quite efficiently was to snap a whole lot of inane photographs for social media. This created the illusion that I was well travelled and worldly. For me, at that juncture in my life, that was enough.
I do not see myself travelling a great deal in the years to come. My family need me and at the moment, finances are tight. In the event that I am given the privilege of travelling, I wish to be fully prepared.
I wish to have read all about the history of the places I am to visit. I wish to know so much about those places that when I finally set my eyes on them; when my finger tips finally caress the tiles and stone; when I finally inhale the scent of the place, I would fully appreciate every bit of beauty within my grasp.
To that end, I attempt to travel the world first in my mind. Perhaps, in the months to come, I would surreptitiously slip a few library visits into my weekly routine and pray that my son remains cooperative.
What a joy it is to have the world at our fingertips.