I want to travel. I really, really do!
It’s a sad fact that I haven’t really gone anywhere beyond my comfort zone in the past…7 years!
In 2003, I moved to Dubai with my family after living in Canada for 6 years. Since then, I’ve only ever been in the UAE or Pakistan. It’s gotten even worse since I started college in 2008. Before, I used to live in Dubai and go to Pakistan for a vacation. Now I live in Pakistan and go back home to Dubai for a vacation. I left Canada 7 years ago, and still haven’t even gone back there for a visit, unlike the rest of my family. It’s like I am stuck in some sort of never-ending vicious cycle from which I can’t escape!
Everyone around me is going places. New York, Bangkok, Paris, London, Montreal, Istanbul, Kuala Lampur. I am not asking for a world tour or even an all-expense trip to one of those cities. I just want to get out of the Lahore-Dubai paradigm. I am not trying to play the ‘poor little rich girl’ card but it’s just frustrating to hear about all these fantastic places but not have any hope of ever visiting them! And no, telling me that I’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel after I am hitched is really NOT the answer. Isn’t this the time to realy experience everything life has to offer? At this age, I am literally at the cusp of adulthood; this is that short window of time that I have to make the most of before I get bogged down with responsibilities that revolve around a career and a mother-in-law.
What would be truly ideal is if I could just do a semester or a summer term abroad somewhere. I have always wanted to attend the Cambridge Summer School program but, realistically speaking, it’s a little more than what my poor daddy can afford, that’s IF he ever warms up to the idea of letting me go anywhere at all. But there are plenty more programmes that are a lot cheaper but still hugely beneficial. I think LUMS does a student-exchange program as well, but that’s with some university in Austria that I haven’t really heard of.
I was actually checking out the summer term curriculum at AUP (American University of Paris). It is heavenly! First of all, its in PARIS (enough said). Its the city of Louis Vuitton and where the Revolution went down, of sidewalk bistros and feather-light croissants, wine, cheese and escargots, of Chanel, the Louvre, and the Champs Elysees, of the Eiffel Tower, high fashion, and romantic architecture. But I digress; its basically a 7 week program from June till mid-July and it’s got all these brilliant courses, and the thought of studying them just made me drool, as nerdy as that sounds. There’s Intro to Islamic Art and Architecture, The History of Paris and a truly divine-sounding course on comparative literature called Modernist Experiments of Migration:
Explores the work of Anglo-American modernist writers in Paris, concentrating on the works of Ernest Hemingway, Wyndham Lewis, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Jean Rhys, and other writers. Relates their formal experimentation to the visual arts and to the psychic dynamics of exile: the experience of liberation from the constraints of one culture and an alienated relation to the new environment.
Sigh. One day, I suppose. One day, I shall go to Paris, show off my high-school French, do everything on this list ( http://matadortrips.com/how-to-be-literary-in-paris/ ) and devour all that makes the city so magical. One day, I’ll go to all the other places I have listed on a spreadsheet in my mind, thats keeps growing every week. But I hope that day comes soon, because right now, the book of my life has only has a few chapters that even I wouldn’t be bothered to read. One day, I’ll travel because like St Augustine wrote, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”