“Some, though, follow the circus wherever it may lead, through money or luck or extensive favors from other rêveurs. But they are all rêveurs, each in their own way, even those who only have the means to visit the circus when it comes to them, rather than the other way around. They smile when they spot each other. They meet up at local pubs to have drinks and chat while they wait impatiently for the sun to set.
It is these aficionados, these rêveurs, who see the details in the bigger picture of the circus. They see the nuance of the costumes, the intricacy of the signs. They buy sugar flowers and do not eat them, wrapping them in paper instead and carefully bringing them home. They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts. Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent.
They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars. They pontificate upon the fluffiness of the popcorn, the sweetness of the chocolate[…]”
Excerpt From: Morgenstern, Erin. “The Night Circus.” Doubleday, 2011-09-13.
When I was
reading devouring The Night Circus on vacation recently, this passage struck me. Morgenstern’s words echo so much the rituals and intricacies of our own travel subcultures.
One of the most rewarding byproducts of my travels had been a sizeable collection of relationships I’ve acquired as a result.
I’ve got my sublists of friends from past cruises, people I’ve met on airplanes, and those I’ve shared tales with over drinks in foreign lands. The proverbial “one in every port”? We’ve got that – a restaurant or bar recommendation, a local friend to call, or a favorite shopping haunt that I’m all too happy to share. There is always another story to share, a detail to mull over, a stone still to be turned over.
Out of those have come many related sub rosa community memberships that span various mediums – dozens of different specialized message boards and Facebook groups, blogs, and email lists catering to a wide swath ranging from general aficionado groups to subspecialized brand-specific (or status-related or obsession-niched) audiences. These forums in turn have formed the basis for more real-life relationships.
Every time I have the opportunity to meet with my kindred spirits to experience travel, talk travel, or just dream about travel, we are all devouring every morsel of the experience, dissecting the nuances, and savoring the tiny gems of goodness. It’s why we fret incessantly when there is even subtle change in the air. We seek prolonging of our pleasure through our kinship. When we can’t actually be traveling, we can still be living this circus life – via the stories, the photos, the details, and the anticipation.
Yes, we are the rêveurs. And each day, the circus awaits us… somewhere.