Uncommon choices: The Australian Festival of Travel Writing

Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet travel books.
Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet travel books.

I am attending the Australian Festival of Travel Writing this weekend at the University of Melbourne. I have never been to an event such as this before and I am finding it extremely useful as I feel as though two important life narratives; travel and education have come together. In my case, they have never really been linked except that a love of independent learning and learning for its own sake led to a love of traveling and traveling for its own sake.

There is a lot of wisdom at the festival. And this I find this very attractive, especially if it is a wisdom that manifests itself in a love of life and knowing that a love of life requires one to make uncommon choices. There are so many traps out there that prevents people from traveling, in the broader sense of the word; traveling geographically, traveling intellectually, traveling culturally, and traveling socially. Fear and cynicism, class based prejudice, the fear of leaving ones comfort zone of pyrrhic successes.  And these limits on traveling are not unique to traveling; one could apply them equally to any sphere of achievement or at least, the fear of achievement. Achievements based on a love of life are always the greatest successes, and if one doesn’t love life, one can never be truly successful (well, at least not a success that is true to oneself).

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