Children’s writer Hans Christian Andersen observed in 1856 “Homesickness is a feeling that many know and suffer from. I, on the other hand, feel a pain less known, and its name is ‘Outsickness.’ When the snow melts, the stork arrives, and the first steamships race off, then I feel the painful travel unrest.”
Andersen was putting his finger on the wanderlust that touches so many of us when warm weather arrives, and all of this has come to mind, of course, as another vacation season gets in full swing.
We’re not surprised that Andersen, a spinner of fairy tales, would like travel so much. Maybe most of us, when we hit the road, are trying to reclaim the fantasies of adventure we conjured as children.
Those fantasies tend to get leavened by greater doses of reality as we get older. We learn that the white beaches also mean sand in our shoes, that the promise of getting away from it all can also bring lost reservations, crowded airplanes and a host of other indignities of travel.
Even so, many of us continue to don our sunscreen and straw hats and leave home each summer. Here’s hoping that somewhere, out there, we find what we’re looking for.