Agatha Christie on Traveling

Agatha Christie on Traveling

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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  • I was having these same thoughts about the snow and my boys! And I was so grateful that my 7 year old dressed himself, so I only had to worry about getting one ready for the snow!

    I’m glad you had a shopping day out by yourself. It makes a world of difference—love having the children with me, but a day out alone with my own thoughts is SUCH a nice treat!

  • Bella pretty well dresses herself. I just have to do her zippers and the buckles on her snow pants. And I do have to sometimes remind her about hats and such. But I have to do Sophie and Ben and they are the ones who don’t stay out very long and who change their minds so quickly.

    Exactly, it’s amazing how much of a treat a couple of hours shopping makes! I don’t even really like shopping all that much; but it’s the break from routine and the chance to be alone in my own thoughts without any chance of interruption. Even when all the children are napping, there’s still that part of my brain that is listening for them….

  • Oh yes I know exactly what you mean. “to be alone with my own thoughts” that is my idea of bliss. It makes me smile to think of you having that peaceful moment while the kids were asleep. You deserve it. I had a snatched moment of peace today too thanks to Paddy taking over child wrangling for 20 minutes… and guess what i did in that moment? I did prayed the hours on my new iphone (xmas present – free to us – long but good story) Paddy bought the Universalis App yesterday for me – another xmas present. You would have been so proud of me. I’m going to end up more catholic than my in-laws!!! It was very special moment. The readings were just what I needed. Thank-you for the inspiration.