Friday, December 30, 2011

The beautiful voyage

We at Travelife Magazine, the Philippines' leading travel & lifestyle publication, wish all our readers and friends a new year full of wondrous journeys and happy adventures. On the eve of 2012, as we all bid farewell to a most eventful year, allow me to share with you one of my favorite poems about life as a journey full of adventure, written originally in Greek by the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933).

As I live my life and go through the days and weeks and eventually years, his poem is never far from my mind. May we each live a life that is a beautiful and wondrous voyage, and may we all eventually find and understand our own Ithaca.


from Poems and Prose

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon -- do not fear them.
You will never encounter them,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
when, with such pleasure, with such joy,
you will enter ports seen for the first time.

Stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber, and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
Visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what these Ithacas mean.

Best wishes for a most wonderful year ahead
from all of us at TRAVELIFE Magazine.

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