Friday, June 5, 2015

Beauty is All Around Us



Books are my thing. I know how to blog about books (at least I think I do a decent job at it) but travel writing? It’s a little out of my comfort zone. Before beginnng a class in travel writing, I hadn’t really put too much thought into what exactly travel writing is. Sure, I love writing and I love traveling but it never occurred to me to combine the two. Well, not until now.

As mentioned earlier, before starting a Travel Writing class I had very little background on travel writing or at least I didn’t think that I did. But as I began to read through some of the course material, I realized that maybe I knew a little more than I had previously thought.  While I hadn’t read Run Away Jane’s blog in particular, I have read similar sites. I just never connected them to travel writing.  I guess in my mind I had a more formal idea of what travel writing was. Charles Darwin’s Journey of Researches is definitely an example of travel writing, an average run of the mill blog, not so much. However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Travel writing like everything else has evolved. Darwin’s Journey of Researches was an early example of travel writing, while Run Away Jane’s blog was a modern one. I have seen the same thing when it comes to book reviews so I am a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t see it here.

I hope to focus my travel writing on the trips that I have taken. While there are still more places that I want to go than I have gone, I have been able to go on some pretty amazing trips. As a small town girl, traveling has allowed me to see many different cultures that I otherwise would not have seen. There are so many different types of people out there and before I traveled I had seen so few on them. I had lived as they would say a “sheltered life”.

Since traveling writing first began, ethnography has been a part of travel blogging.  As Joan Pau Rubies put it, “The description of peoples, their nature, customs, religion, forms of government, and language, is so embedded in the travel writing produced in Europe after the sixteenth century that one assumes ethnography to be essential to the genre” (Rubies 242).   I think that ethnography is very important to travel writing because that is how we learn and grow as people. If we can better understand all of these different things that make people who they are, then we can learn to be more understanding and accepting of different cultures.

Another aspect of travel writing that I would like to focus on is the beauty of the world. I am always a little sad when people that aren’t able to travel. To live your entire life and never get to see all that the world has to offer is one of the saddest things that there is in my opinion. Whether it be nature or architecture, there is so much to be seen and discovered. 
 

In Chicago, I saw buildings that seemed to stretch up for miles and once at the top I realized that I actually could see for miles.
View from the John Hancock Observatory

In London, I saw some of the most magnificent architecture the world has ever seen. They just don’t make building like they did back then.

Tower Bridge: London, England
Built in 1886-1894

In Ireland, I climbed a centuries old castle and kissed a stone kissed by who knows how many other people.

Blarney Castle
Construction began 1446



In Puerto Rico, I traveled into a rainforest and beheld a waterfall cascading down a stone wall.

El Yunque Rainforest
Puerto Rico


In North Carolina, I witnessed the majesty of the sun setting against the backdrop of the great Smoky Mountains.   



View from the Blue Ridge Parkway


One thing that I have learned from traveling is that if you look for beauty in world, really, truly look, you will find it, even in your own backyard.

I believe that this class is going to be it’s own kind of adventure and I am looking forward to sharing that adventure with all of you!

Happy Reading and Traveling!





3 comments:

  1. Ashley, this blog is awesome! I hope that you are able to connect your love of books with your love of travel in the upcoming posts! I would be totally interested in reading about what you were reading on certain vacations (and maybe even if/how it impacted some introspection. I look forward to reading more!

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  2. Ashley,
    I believe your idea to write about the beauty of the destinations you've traveled to is a very strong one that will allow you to show us aspects of these places that we may not have had the chance to see in person, or even if we have seen them in person, haven't really noticed or appreciated the beauty of them. I haven't been to any of the places you've showcased here, but the awe-inspiring architecture and landscape is obvious, and makes me want to find out and see more. All of the pictures you've provided are so different, but they all have in common a unique beauty.

    I wonder, do you think differing between natural beauty and man-made beauty would be worth exploring? (landscape vs. buildings)? It would also be a great addition if you provide timelines, such as when those buildings in Chicago were developed, or exactly how old that castle in Ireland is. This would provide an interesting way for us to see how those features of these places evolve or stay intact throughout time, yet their significant beauty remains.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ashley! I really enjoyed reading your blog! I like how your blog develops- from your initial thoughts on not understanding travel writing, to your realization of your knowledge, and then finally sharing and implementing your own personal experiences. The photos are absolutely break taking- I had to take in the photo from Chicago. I also need to Google the stone in Ireland!

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