"Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe." - Bill Bryson
by Carol Cain
I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses. "Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe." by Bill Bryson
This quote reminds me of the very first time I visited Italy, equipped only with a 6-month course in Italian and a false sense of confidence that, if needed, my fluent Spanish would do. Instead, I would find myself absorbing the sounds of various dialects that no one warned me about, tasting dishes without understanding what they were, being led to places without knowing where I was heading, and finding different ways to communicate all my emotions, from love to sadness, in ways that replaced words. It was one of the most beautifully enriching experiences of my life and how I knew I would always travel.