Sometimes I randomly choose a book from the library without knowing too much about it.
At times, I pick duds and have to force myself to read. But every once in a while, I choose one that I can’t get through fast enough.
That’s how I felt about The End of Manners by Francesca Marciano.
This story is about a photographer on assignment in Kabul. She’s stressed, overwhelmed, and confused much of her time there, but in spite of all that, Kabul refreshes her.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a travel experience like this.
Most of my travel in the past few years has centered around the beauty or sights of a place (the ocean in Tahiti, the ruins in Rome) or the culture (so, this is what they eat in Cambodia?).
That travel was certainly nice and helped me relax and marvel at the world.
But for me, the most treasured travel has been to places where I interacted on a different level.
I volunteered, stayed with a host family, worked there short term, or maybe even just had a long conversation with a local.
I wasn’t insulated away from people. Instead, I felt uncomfortable and challenged.
These are the times that I come away from a place with awe about how very different AND alike people are around the world.
Reading The End of Manners reminded me that these kinds of experiences are out there.
I hope I get to have one of those again soon.