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Why Alice in Wonderland is the Ultimate Travel Book Featured

  • Posted on:  Tuesday, 30 September 2014 09:05
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"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"– so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

 

First off, lets get this straight before any book nazis attack me- its called called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and not Alice in Wonderland.

Alice is kind of an obnoxious girl. She's slightly ditzy and freaks out easily. But even with all those negative qualities, that young girl possesses more gust in her shrunken pinky finger than many of us do in our entire lives. Even cooler, as an LA Times article pointed out, Alice is one girl that never cries for her dear old parents (even after being attacked). Here's a girl whose two feet willingly take her to the weirdest places in search of all sorts of possibilities.

Many times when we dream of traveling to foreign places, to work, to live, or even to volunteer, we get slapped in the face with a massive sense of culture shock:

“'It was much pleasanter at home,' thought poor Alice, 'when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole--and yet--and yet--it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life!'”

 

And its true. Even as a pretty hardy traveler, I found it incredibly odd to eat my meals with my hands in Nepal. 'Saving face' in Thailand seemed counter-intuitive in the classroom. Roads in Ecuador often showed how little regard fellow drivers' had for each others lives. Things didn't work how they should in these places. But at home things did work. Home was safe. Home was lovely. I could have the robin's egg blue silk curtains and all the mismatched- matchy silverware I wanted. But here's the thing- the unknownth chaos I've crossed has been ever so pleasant, even in the worse moments.

When we travel, we find ourselves surviving along with millions of others. Sometimes we truly do find ourselves. Sometimes we get even more lost:

'Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.
Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'

 

Travel has a funny way of doing that- kicking the confidence straight out of you. Things don't always work the way you want to in foreign lands. You might not understand why there isn't a better recycling program set up there. You get angry at how people discard trash so belligerently anywhere. Your college degree and knowledge has no value in this land. The taxi driver just ripped you off. And frankly, you were just told by your local tour guide, “Aren't you a bit to old for a girl to not be focused on having children.”

Alice got that all the time:

`Really, now you ask me,' said Alice, very much confused, `I don't think--'
`Then you shouldn't talk,' said the Hatter.
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

 

Sometimes it's weird when we realize that life keeps on going without us, that life exist outside our own world. That is the reason we travel- to see the world outside of our own lives. Alice doesn't stay put. She doesn't find the nicest inclusive hotel and never leaves the premises. Strange characters on her encounters make her cry, but they don't stop her from going on. She even stands up to nonsense rules while others lay down. Screw Eat, Pray, Love: Alice is the travel/life role model I need.

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Read 1147 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 19:09
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