Aug 07 2012
A few weeks ago, I had a work dream. You know, the kind of dream with not quite enough monsters to qualify as a nightmare but which nevertheless extends your eight-hour work day into the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, I work in the travel department at Booksmith, so while some of my work dreams have me shelving for 12 hours straight, other times I get to slip off into an unknown land I glimpsed on the cover of a guide during the day.
On this night I dreamed I was sorting through some folded maps at Booksmith. But instead of dividing the White Mountain National Park maps from the Green National Park maps, as I had during the work day, in my dream I was sorting National Geographic’s new line of “Maps to Marriage.” The bride’s maps were white, and the groom’s–green.
This dream may not come as a surprise to those of you who know I eloped to Europe last month and returned to Booksmith a married woman. We conceived of our elopement as a Voyage Out, after Virginia Woolf’s first novel, which is at once a travelogue about a group of British citizens adventuring in South America, and the story of a young girl’s initiation into life and love.
Travel, I discovered over the past few weeks of strolling the boulevards of Paris, hiking in the French Alps, and gazing over the red tiled roofs at the Tagus from the top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills–is the perfect metaphor for marriage: a dreamscape of new discoveries difficult to map, unpredictable, and sometimes startling, but always full of the potential for new life for the way it brings us out of our individual habits of being and plunges us into new encounters with the other: be that a new language, landscape, or lover.
So go find your traveling partner, book your flights, and we’ll supply the maps.
Read more: Elopement, France, General, Lisbon, Marriage, National Geographic Trail maps, News, The Voyage Out, Travel, Virginia Woolf