I really enjoyed Thursday’s discussion and thought we made significant progress towards formulating an account of how Marco Polo describes, shapes and perhaps even reinvents “the known world.”
Something that we didn’t talk about at any great length, however, was the marvel of travel, something that was clearly important to all of you during Tuesday’s discussion.
So as a supplementary blog post for this week, I want to invite you to share personal reflections on how travel can cast the light of the marvelous onto the world, onto foreign cultures, and perhaps even our own everyday environment. What experiences have you had that took your breath away and somehow made you see things in a different light? How and when did you suddenly become estranged from your past life, in the way that Marco Polo did when he first set foot into the further reaches of Asia? And how can we even describe something that, by definition, resists expression in a previously existing vocabulary?