The thrill of the countdown

A well-travelled friend wrote to me today to wish me luck, ending with the words “culture shock can be truly lovely”.

I like that. And I like that even in this age of instant contact and easy continent-hopping, the thrill of travels to come – of the shock that lies on the other side of the journey – can still make your stomach leap and lurch, can still keep you up all night waiting for the alarm clock to ring.

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