Life is really like a ship—the interior of a ship, that is. It has water-tight compartments. You emerge from one, seal and bolt the door, and find yourself in another. My life from the day we left Southampton to the day we returned to England was one such compartment. Ever since that I have felt the same about travel. You step from one life into another. You are yourself, but a different self. The new self is untrammeled by all the hundreds of spiders’ webs and filaments that enclose you in a cocoon of day-to-day domestic life: letters to write and bills to pay, chores to do, friends to see, photographs to develop, clothes to mend, nurses and servants to placate, tradesmen and laundries to reprove. Your travel life has the essence of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it. It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longings to see some dearly loved person… But you are like the Vikings or the master mariners of the Elizabethan age, who have gone into the world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.
Agatha Christie from An Autobiography
Amazing! I’ve had that feeling about traveling before… how it’s like a dream. My entire semester abroad in Rome felt like that and still feels like that, somehow sealed away from everything else, like I was me and not me at the same time.
I’m really loving Agatha Christie’s autobiography. I haven’t read any of her novels since I went through a phase when I was a teenager; but Connie Willis has an obvious love of her novels and refers to them all the time, especially in To Say Nothing of the Dog and Blackout also Christie makes a cameo appearance in All Clear. Then someone somewhere mentioned on their blog that they’d read her autobiography and enjoyed it so I decided to put it on hold at the library. What a treat!
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