What I love most about travelling to other countries is that all your senses awaken and become fully engaged. Wherever you go, you experience an array of pungent smells, amazing sights, unfamiliar sounds and incomprehensible languages. You feel the difference in the quality of the air – whether it’s humid and sticky or cold and dry. Travelling feeds an intense awareness as you devour a new environment through your senses. It’s an intoxicating feeling of being vibrantly alive.
Travelling was a hot topic at a party on Saturday night, as I listened to friends reminiscing about the days when they lived in the UK. They spoke appreciatively of bygone days when Paris, Rome, Barcelona or Prague was an easy weekend getaway. Imagine how awesome it would be! That’s definitely not possible living in the remotest city in the world. In fact, I regularly have to put up with my internal Resident Critic complaining that it’s pretty difficult to travel when you live in the “arse end” of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love living here and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world – there is truly no place like home. Actually, I’m convinced that being the remotest city in the world is what makes it such a great place!
So what do you do if you love to travel but you can’t just hop on a plane and be in another country for the weekend? I think Sir Francis Bacon summed it up pretty well:
If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain. *
Well that’s exactly what we did yesterday. If travelling is all about sensory experience then we can do that here. We grew up surrounded by Portuguese cuisine and culture, so it’s vividly familiar to us. We’ve been to Portugal and Madeira and have many memories and photos of our wonderful experiences there. Together, my hubby and I re-created some of our favourite Portuguese seafood while we sipped good wine and listened to the Gypsy Kings – music that is typical in the Portuguese restaurants we loved. Sunday was a mini Portuguese holiday of sensory delights. Who knows where we might go next!
* Saying arises from the story of Muhammad, as retold by Francis Bacon, in Essays, 1625.