When I was in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City I think, I found (for free (!) at one of the many book swaps available at hostels) the book Eat, Pray, Love. It's a popular book, especially among single women who are traveling (like myself). No offense to Elizabeth Gilbert, but this book was the LAST thing I needed to read. Apart from being generally melodramatic, I found it depressing. Despite its title (and the character's assurance that eating and praying were the focus of at least 8 months) the entire thing is about relationships and love. BORING. I'm confused as to why there are so many women who find inspiration in this book. There is more to life than "searching for love" or "recovering from love" (the majority of this book centered on the character's time spent recuperating from a terrible relationship, or two, rather than being a part of a happy, functioning one).
Eating, sure everyone has to do it to live, or whatever, and a huge part of traveling is finding new culture through cuisine and certainly Italy is perfect in that regard, but you can't devote your time to eating especially when traveling on a budget.
Praying: I, and Dionne Warrick, pray constantly. We say a little prayer for you. I pray the bus makes it on time, I pray the bus makes it at all, I pray I find my hostel, I pray there are no bed bugs, I pray I don't get lost, I pray there is warm water, I pray there is internet. So sure, I pray like crazy. I love learning about religions and religious influences. It was the way in which "prayer" was approached in the book that I didn't like. It seemed like an escape. Meditation/Prayer is great but it shouldn't be used as a way to escape the world around you.
As for love, well I love continually. I love the landscape, I love the people, I love the cold, I love the history, I love the Sea, I love the coffee, I love walking, I love eating. But, please, can we all stop focusing on romantic love? Pretty please? It bores me. Plus when you're traveling, having an adventure, the last thing you want is to be distracted by "emotions" or "feelings."
If I were to write a book about my travels what would the title be? Walk, See, Read. Learn, Gaze, Wonder. Teach, Spin, Knit. Listen, Learn, Blog. I like to think my title would be cooler than 3 verbs.
I'm going to go back to re-reading Harry Potter now. Cheers!