A girl (or boy) travels to Europe to find herself. We know what happens next.
In Motion: The Experience of Travel by Tony Hiss. 352 pages. Knopf. $27.95. On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe by Andrzej Stasiuk. 272 pages. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $23.
This is a storyline woven tightly into our culture. It is in our novels, our movies, our memoir. From Henry James to Elizabeth Gilbert, this is a story we tell ourselves and each other: The act of travel, of forward motion, will somehow distill your inner essence, and deliver yourself to yourself, so that you step off of that train or out of airport baggage claim a more you version of you.
A girl travels to Europe to find herself. Except she doesn’t. She finds instead that people in Paris… More…