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.
Just the other day while driving and listening to the radio, I heard that Perth has been chosen as city to trial self driven cars in a couple of years time. What an interesting idea! To think that things that seemed totally sci-fi are actually happening and right here in one of the remotest city’s in the world. I think it’s really exciting and I’m all for it. Just think of the possibilities:
No more designated driver on a night out
You could go out for dinner, have a few glasses of wine without having to count every sip and not having to worry about getting home safely.
No more backseat drivers
That’s right. Just imagine, no more being asked, “why you going this way?” or stating “maintain your lane” or “you’re driving too fast” or “you’re driving too slow.”
No more having to plan your shopping around nap and feeding times
What a pleasure for Mums. They could sit back and feed their bub or soothe them while they nod off, rather than having to try and drive while singing a lullaby to their desperate, out of reach, starving screamer, strapped into the child seat in the back.
Not to mention no more sibling squabbles
When my girls where little I can remember trying to steer the car with one hand while trying to separate them with the other and talking loudly at the windscreen trying to convince them to keep to their side of the car and stop tormenting each other. This would happen no more with a self driven car. That’s because I would be sitting right between them, reading them a story or supervising homework!
No more annoying and unexpected fines.
I’d much rather spend that money on luxury treats!
No more wasted time in traffic jams
Just think about how you could use time productively while stuck in traffic. You could meet that deadline, check Facebook, pay bills, book a holiday, make an appointment with the dentist, order your shopping online, call your Mum or read your favourite book. You might just want to have a nap yourself.
Much safer roads and less accidents
How good would it be to have safer roads and save lives?
Self Driven “Winnebago”
Now this one I’m adding to the bucket list for sure! No idea when it will be available – if ever – but here’s hoping. Can you imagine how cool it would be to go on a road trip without having to worry about getting tired, being able to have a nap, nibble on some cheese and quaff some wine or watch a DVD? Imagine if you could get the car to drop you off while you go for a hike or ride your bike and direct the car to pick you up at a designated spot? Now that would be an awesome way to do a trip around Australia.
What do you think about self-driven cars in the near future? Am I missing something?