Traveling can both be an invigorating and melancholic experience. Going to new places, seeing things in reality that you only ever read or heard about, and gaining a new perspective, is all part of a happy and fulfilling experience.
Yet, when you suddenly realize you understand nothing of what the locals say, nor any of their signs. When you struggle to order at a restaurant because you can’t understand all the words in the menu. When you feel utterly helpless when your battery (and your internet) dies and suddenly need to ask around. At those moments, the loneliness of travel sets on.
Travel has only been relatively recently introduced as an entertaining activity. Before the airplanes, travelers were mostly rich upper-class people going in grand tours, wholly among people of their class and language. It was less traveling than seeing another culture from up a pedestal.
I wasn't going to put in the Eiffel Tower like everyone else (but I did take a picture and go all the way up)
Before that, only those who needed to travel did. Of course, there were those rare explorers who traveled for the sake of traveling. But mostly, it was part of a job, or part of the need to survive.
Tourism, which is the sort of traveling most done by people, doesn’t usually take a long enough time for the loneliness of travel to set through.
As I walked down the River Sine in Paris, and the River Rhine in Dusseldorf and Cologne, I realized ethereal I was to that location. Obviously not a part of it, and yet walking among those who were, walking in the footsteps of hundreds of other ethereal beings who will become real beings once again in a hundred different places.
The tourist is someone who comes from the outside to experience what is diluted to many in the same place. When I was sailing in the canals of Amsterdam, the people of Amsterdam probably preferred to watch Dunkirk or something else. When I was eating out in a good restaurant every day in Paris, the Parisian’s in the same restaurant were more probably eating out as an occasion or a celebration.
In the museums of Brussels and Luxembourg, there were few people from Brussels and Luxembourg, and more of those ethereal beings, who were storing too much information to be able to realistically keep.
All these places.
All this travel.
Brussels making an icon of a pissing boy statue is the greatest advertisment feat in history
This is what I look forward to the most every year. And every time, it fills me with both happiness and sadness. The sadness; a state of melancholy as I imagine myself being part of the places I travel to, imagine myself as what would be a completely different person shaped by different places and people. As for happiness; it is the experience of being miles away from home, in a place as alien to me as the 50 Celsius dusty place I come from is alien to most of you; to be in a place whose history and culture is entirely different from mine.
Often, I am extremely depressed as I go back home from wherever I was; realizing that back home will never have the wonder and mystery of where my travels took me. Yet, I also feel a certain richness to my soul, a certain addition to it, with memories that will not be remembered easily, but will not be forgotten because they occupy a deeper recess in my brain, and are stored as feelings and experiences, not mere images.
That is why, probably because of its loneliness and sadness, the happiness of travel goes through.
Also, the great food is always a treat.
*- Note that this blog is not about the basterdization of the Valkyria Chronicles series lately released as Valkyria Revolution, but the actual sequel, Valkyria Chronicles 2. In this blog, Nanashi analyzes how a sequel managed to greatly dissapoint in many ways, mostly due to clear missteps by the publisher Sega. Its a great analysis that can extend to many game franchises with ill-thought sequels.
A- Some people don't like list artiles, but I actually like them, especially since like this list of greatest Sonic games by GoofierBrute, it gives people an idea of what footing they can go in with if playing a series for the first time. The list is missing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 though...
Luxembourg is a great example of history co-existing with modernity
R- Not everyone like Western RPGs in the style of the Diablo series (I am lukewarm about them), and Blanchimont's review of the game is not very positive, but he outlines his thoughts accuretly and justifies the low score he gives the game.
T- In what first appears like a full-bodied hidden advertisment for Skylanders, Cedi actually ilustrates very well the design philosophy of the Skylander characters, and the blog goes long way in explaining why the game may have managed to succeed.
The Cologne Domo is one of the most formiddable looking monuments we have seen in this trip
Amsterdam is all about its canals, not the other word starting with can
I had a lot of fun going over Western Europe. I managed to go 85% within plan and went only 15% over-budget. Feel free to ask me any questions about thep places I have been to.
Also, here are my latest reviews:
And Latest Blog in my "where the hell is...?" blog series"