The worst sort of travelling occurs when once can’t prove it. In this facebook obsessed age of sharing everything, it is next to sacrilege to visit a beautiful place and not post pictures of it. These pictures scream many things, from “I was here, Look at all the awesome places I get to see” to “salivate at my awesome life, all ye miserable masses of protoplasm”. Even in simpler times there were albums which would be ready months later, treasured in chests shown off proudly to relatives with anecdotes scribbled behind photographs. An exhibitionistic tinge to travel displayed across showcases and in clothes, perfumes and the ubiquitous chocolate.
Nowadays when I travel my main worry is not planning excursions around the destinations but executing the perfect camera shot for sharing. Hair smoothed, smile in place and of course the monument in question somewhere in the background but not all travels are planned and proving the deliciousness of irony, the best travels are unphotographed. Now that I have this off my chest, here goes…
Often I find myself wandering across bizarre sights or incredibly beautiful vistas and I neatly file it away in my mind, every little visual and aural detail to be recollected later(you see I too am showing off my travels). And now and then I am left with nothing else more than an inexplicable sense of awe. Last weekend, driving along the pacific coast I planned several adjectives to decorate the sea with, several more for the cliffs that plunged gracelessly into the azure waters. I had decided on verbs to dress the waves and on some obscure words not only to share the amazing beauty of it all but also show off my linguistic prowess in a matter of fact-ly way. But all I can recollect now is a faint sense of wonder that I had then, at grasping those vistas. Surely there was beauty, lots of it. There was the melancholy exuberance that seas paint and there was the stoicism of the mountains, there was sunlight to fill everything with just the right shade of colour, and the sky was a peerless plain blue. That sky went on for miles suddenly rushing at the sea to meet it completely ignoring the presence or need of a decent horizon. So it was essentially a blue expanse that crashed onto rocky crags at one end and disappeared among gentle mountaintops at the other.
Maybe if the weather was rainy the road that hung to the cliffs might have portrayed a character of lost desolation and hopelessness, but the sun prevailed robbing it of any dramatic hang ups, enlightening every convex bend sharply, obscuring the concavities in deep shadows. The loneliness did manage to sneak in when a view of the city far far away was afforded, a view that made it look nothing more than lego blocks stacked a trifle carelessly. The whole scene continued to drift in and out of surreality until the Golden gate bridge made an appearance with that perennial urban detritus; traffic.
Waves rise with fragility, sheets of azure and then stupidly crash onto land purity defiled in a puffy spray lingering onto sand. Every western coast calls for new frontiers, untouched lands and leaves an aura of mystery. Eternal temptresses beckon to the unknown, explorers chase the sun and time itself, the setting sun adding an unrequited desire to the unrealness of it all.