Last night I went along to Sony Pictures in the West End to watch a preview screening of Julia Roberts’ new film Eat, Pray, Love. The film is being released on 24 September 2010 and it was fun to see it so nice and early! We were fed pizza on arrival and then lead into one of Sony’s special viewing theatres and it was all quite posh. The film was followed by a discussion panel consisting of a travel blogger, yoga teacher, food blogger and dating blogger.
I’ll be sure to upload my review over at Addicted to Media but the film certainly got me thinking. It is hard to judge a film like Eat, Pray, Love because it is akin to judging another woman’s very personal travel experience. Eat, Pray, Love is a true story based on the journey of journalist and writer Liz Gilbert. Liz was paid a handsome advance by her publisher that enabled her to make her year-long journey but there is no doubt that she was spiritually bankrupt and suffering the effects of her divorce when she embarked on her trip. In short – she needed to go and find herself.
I follow a lot of travel writers and bloggers on Twitter and there are certainly many serial travellers out there. There are couples who are taking an adult gap year or career break, young adventurers just out of school or university who are touring the world for a year or two and, of course, there are professional travel writers or perpetual travellers who have managed to monetise their blogs.
It all seems so glamorous and exciting but I’m also relieved that it is not me. Quite simply, I love my life. It can be frustrating and hard and disappointing even but I travel not to escape or to find myself but to experience more of the world and to drink in other cultures and countries. As I mentioned earlier, it is not a judgement at all but just a realisation that I wouldn’t want to perpetually travel the world. I like having a job and my husband and my life and that is what makes my travel experiences so important to me.
Having said all of that though, I think in some ways I have done exactly what Liz Gilbert did. Being an expat can be monumentally alienating, bewildering and lonely at times. I came from a country with nine month summers to one with five months of bitter winter and I’m generally fluey for four of them. Perhaps importantly, I battled the winter blues and the residual effects of traumatic experiences that I had in my home country. Running this blog has been my own little journey of self-discovery. Friends often remark to me that I seem to ‘do so much’ but that has always been the purpose of this blog. Being an eternal tourist, seeing the quirky things in every day life and showing my readers the world through my eyes is my way of reminding myself that I am alive and it has been the most life-affirming, inspiring and, yes, therapeutic processes I have ever undertaken, Thank you all for being part of that journey!
Um, *cough*, I’d be interested in knowing if Eat, Pray, Love has generated similar epiphanies in other bloggers / travellers / expats. It is certainly not the best film I’ve ever seen, based as it was on a priv-lit book but it sure got me thinking! Here is the trailer for the film:
(Oh and in order to avoid constantly repeating myself, I’m not going to apologise again for being behind on comments and commenting. I mean, I am sorry but I just don’t see life slowing down in the next seven days so I’ll try get back on the wagon again next week)