I love traveling. I am sure most people are happy with spending one or two weeks a year at a holiday resort. For me now, it would hardly be worth the effort. The problem for me is that with each day passing you know you are one day closer to the end of your holiday. I suppose I even wonder myself why I want to spend months on end staying in cheap hotels, traveling for hours on crowded buses and trains – living out of my suitcase.
I am now reading “After Dark” by Haruki Murakami, one of my favorite authors and he tells a story, that really explains why I love traveling so much.
“Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm. They drifted for a long time until they washed up on the shore of an uninhabited island. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big, high mountain in the middle. The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, ‘A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he like. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, more the world you will be able to see from your home. It’s entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.”
“So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would. And they started pushing them along as the god told them to. Now these were huge, heavy boulders, so rolling them was hard, and pushing them up an incline took an enormous effort. The youngest brother quit first. He said, ‘Brothers, this place is good enough for me. It’s close to the shore, and I can catch fish. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ His two elder brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit. He said, ‘Brother, this place is good enough for me. There is plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here’. The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain. The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not want to quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possibly could, so he kept rolling the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain. There he stopped and surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This was the place he would live – where no grass grew, where no birds flew. For water, he could only lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. But he had no regrets, because how could look out over the whole world.”