In the book Around the World in 80 Dates, the author, Jennifer Cox, takes off on an around the world trip in search of love. She plans the trip effectively, reaching out to the network of contacts she’s created through her roles as a travel journalist and the head of PR for Lonely Planet and asks them to set her up on dates, introduce her to people, etc.
I read the book a long time ago, shortly after it came out in 2005, so the timeline and facts are fuzzy, but she says one thing in the story that has stuck with me ever since. When describing her decision to take the journey she says (and I don’t quote) that she puts time and effort into building her career and traveling for work, why not travel for love?
Good bloody question Ms. Cox.
Tonight I am leaving for Ireland. It’s a work trip and I will have only a couple of days free but there is something terribly romantic about Ireland. Of course the landscape and historical sites are beautiful, but what I find most moving is [the portrayal of] its people’s connection and dedication to their culture. They believe in and have passion for… being Irish. You can’t help but feel welcome and ‘home’ while you are there, even if you don’t have an ounce of Irish blood running through your body.
For the next week I will be doing a lot of schmoozing, mingling and small-talking. But for the first 30 hours, I will be driving across the country making periodic, unplanned stops — which in my opinion is the only way to road trip — basking in Ireland’s greenery and seaside towns. Cox may have traveled for romantic love, but for the first 30 hours I will be traveling for all kinds of love — my love for exploring a new culture, my love for landscapes and scenery, my love for taking photographs, my love for pub foods and my love for, well, me. Everyone needs a little “me-time,” and I can’t think of anywhere better to spend it.
And who knows who I’ll meet along the way…