Book Quote #2: “If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name.”

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Hello everyone, and happy Friday!

This week, I am wrapping up The Wise Men’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (about 88% finished). My goal is to have a review posted by the end of the weekend for you guys 🙂

After I finish TWMF, I will be starting the third revision of my novella (tentative title: Together We Will Live Forever), which I am anticipating with nervousness and excitement.

Today I want to share a quote about travelling:

“If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveller, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.”

– The Wise Men’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss

We are influenced by the people around us. We listen to the advice of our friends and family. We value their opinions and their ideas. And sometimes their opinions become our opinions, and their ideas, our ideas. A friend can convince me to watch a movie and enjoy it. As a child, my mom and dad taught me what is acceptable and what is not, and they still do today, albeit more subtly. These people shape us and define who we are.

Sometimes we are even influenced by people who are distant from us, acquaintances, classmates, and coworkers. We compare ourselves to them. We may feel jealousy or superiority. Sometimes we let their opinions matter to us. We are flattered by their compliments or struck by their criticism. I smile when a coworker compliments my clothing, and I am hard on myself when I am criticized for my work. We let these people tell us who we are as well, for better or for worse.

What if we are taken away from these people? Kvothe (from Patrick Rothfuss’ book) would argue that we find who we are.

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I’m not quite sure I found who I am when I traveled to Switzerland and to Taiwan. I loved the idea of leaving my burdens behind and embracing something new. I loved meeting new people and learning about their cultures, people that I likely would not have met or talked to if I had traveled with a friend or with a group. What I didn’t love was the occasional periods of loneliness. I hated eating alone at a restaurant and I still can’t do it comfortably to this day.

Traveling with a friend is a different experience for me. Even when we had known each other for four or five years, I always end up learning more about my friend. I love the company and the conversations. The trade-off is that there will be compromises: I do not like fried chicken thighs, but I may have to endure one meal for a friend who does. And vice versa. I think I really don’t mind that.

In the end, I think I enjoy traveling with company.

Have you traveled alone, or thought about traveling alone? Or do you prefer traveling with a friend or a group? What is your experience?

Cheers,

Sophie

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2 thoughts on “Book Quote #2: “If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name.”

    • Hmm what do you think? I think introspection and reflection is important to some extent but we will need to eventually go out and experience the world.
      I like the idea of traveling as a way to experience different cultures. But I feel that going to “touristy” places get us stuck in a bubble and we don’t quite fully experience the culture of the place. I think we’ll have to live somewhere for months or years to get that perspective
      It is discouraging to think that some people can’t afford traveling. It is really a hobby of the wealthy. Can we say that a child in a third world country do not know themselves because they don’t travel?

      Like

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