“When you travel you become invisible if you want.
I do want. I like to be the observer. What makes these people who they are? Could I feel at home here? No one expects you to have the stack of papers back by Tuesday or to check messages or to fertilize the geraniums or to sit full of dread in the waiting room at the protologist’s office. When travelling you have the delectable possibility of not understanding a word of what is said to you. Language becomes simply a musical background for watching bicycles zoom along a canal calling for nothing from you. Even better if you speak the language you catch nuances and make more contact with people. Travel releases spontaneity. You become a godlike creature full of choice free to visit the stately pleasure domes make love in the morning sketch a bell tower read a history of Byzantium, stare for one hour at the face of Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna dei fusi. You open as in childhood and – for a time – receive this world. There’s the visceral aspect too – the huntress who is free. Free to go. Free to return home bringing memories to lay on the hearth.” - Frances Mayes, A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler