Saturday, 6 June 2015


One life is not enough, so you have to give yourself to traveling as often as you possibly can.

George Harrison’s “Inner Light” had a lovely tune, but philosophies always get it wrong (philosophies, remember, don’t expand your mind – they are merely a distraction): you can only experience things by seeing them. By kissing them goodbye. That is the way it works.

There are places, however, that drag you back. You don’t just think to yourself: ‘Hey, this was good – so what’s next?’ As soon as you leave these places, your mind starts searching for ways to go back. This does not necessarily depend on objective arguments (good museum, good weather, good food) – this could all be down to a number of memorable scenes or, indeed, one such moment. Like a thunderstorm started and you had to hide inside an old church. Or maybe there were four girls playing violins in the street. Or you heard an Italian tenor sing “Una Furtiva Lagrima” in circumstances so intimate you went back to your hotel exalted and a little insane. Or you just lay down in Piazza del Campo for two hours doing nothing. 

So while people may choose their Romes and Florences and Venices and Veronas – I will find a way to go back to Siena. It may stand in the way of more expansive traveling and something I have never yet experienced, but it’s a plague I’m willing to contract.