Seriously, this is the dead end of a random street in Venice.
When I think back to my time studying abroad four years ago, there are two things that stick out in my mind.
First, I remember being cold the whole time. Southern France was unseasonably chilly that spring, so I had brought the wrong clothes, and I was too money-conscious to buy the right ones. Instead, I layered three pairs of tights and double-wrapped my scarves and bought a cheap winter hat from a street vendor.
Second, I had no obligations outside of classes, which meant I would spend hours getting lost in the web of tiny medieval-era streets. (When my toes got numb, I would warm up inside one of Aix’s endless supply of French boutiques, fingering the price tags of clothes I wished I could buy.) My extensive wandering was such a profound experience that I blogged about it at the time.
Then, a couple of years later, I learned about the word flâneur. It’s French — fittingly — and it has no direct translation in English, but it means something like “one who wanders alone.” A New York Times reporter described it like this: “Flânerie is, in its purest form, a goal-less pursuit, though for some it evolved into a purposeful art: Walking and observing became a method of understanding a city, an age.” This word resonated with me so deeply that I wrote another blog post about it.
So this is my third time blogging about the profundity of wandering. I can’t promise it will be my last.Read More »The Rules Of Wandering