“I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new”
– Jules Verne –
I’ve been watching the wonderful re-make of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, and find myself missing the days of leaping on planes to such far-flung destinations! The series, although ‘slightly’ more dramatic than my own life of adventures, feels like an ode to travel before the pandemic- and the experiences encountered by Phileas Fogg happily remind me of the richness and visual poetry of the world around us, far beyond the four walls of Working From Home.
And while, of course, it brings my nostalgia to the fore, Mr Fogg’s rambunctious tale has also made me consider how traveller and guests’ needs might have changed over the past 150 years. Or have they? It’s true that we can now zip from one side of the planet to the other in less than 80 days, but some things seem to endure through time. The globe-trotting world of 1872 seemed to depend as much on the core tenets of hospitality, care and human connection as much as it does today. Whatever mad follies Mr Fogg finds himself amongst, it is still always the people he meets and the places he discovers that make sure his journey continues.
Something in the notion of Phileas Fogg finding his way around the world, held and supported by the kindness and possibilities of everything around him, makes me see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Travel has been delayed, yes, but the world is still out there, still being incredible and unique and full of surprises. And, in the arms of hospitality, it still waits to be discovered.