27 September 2023

Travelling Companions

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Antoni Jach, Transit Lounge, $32.99.

Referred to as a ‘hybrid travelogue of Europe and the strangeness of the human spirit’, Travelling Companions takes us to a whole new plane: sharing tales, and those of other travellers, on a ride that reveals stories of people’s lives.

In the process, we fly with a raconteur who offers vivid descriptions of personal experiences that evoke powerful emotions and insights.

With travel back on everyone’s agenda, it’s time to go with the flow, to take chances and to be open to experience. The author, playwright and painter is torn between travelling on his own and wanting to be in company.
“Being a traveller on the move, in transit; existing in temporary sliding states between airports and railway stations, tourist hotels; encountering other solitary travellers by chance and listening to their travel stories.”

“It is time to make a promise to self, it is time to avoid the habitual fracturing of self, and it is time for reinvention. It’s time to try on multiple selves, so much easier to do when you travel. At certain times it is desirable to be alone when you travel.”

“At other times you have to be in company; you desperately need travelling companions to reflect you back to yourself and to refract experiences back to yourself; you have to avoid the black hole of loneliness, to embrace the chance occurrence and the multiple invitations for exploration that usually only come once.”After a few days of pleasurable solitary travelling, there always comes a time when it is necessary to seek out travelling companions After getting acquainted with some fellow travellers, he observes: “have collected three people around me and my life has become infinitely richer…”

“How to be alone yet to be in company? That is the conundrum.”

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