Don't be amazed if you see my eyes always wandering. In fact, this is my way of reading, and it is only in this way that reading proves fruitful to me. If a book truly interests me, I cannot follow it for more than a few lines before my mind, having seized on a thought that the text suggests to it, or a feeling, or a question, or an image, goes off on a tangent and springs from thought to thought, from image to image, in an itinerary of reasonings and fantasies that I feel the need to pursue to the end, moving away from the book until I have lost sight of it. The stimulus of reading is indispensable to me, and of meaty reading, even if, of every book, I manage to read no more than a few pages. But those few pages already enclose for me whole universes, which I can never exhaust.
The thing about traveling alone, is that you run into your insecurities and fears times ten the normal! You run into all the good things and all the bad things about yourself on a daily basis, and are allowed the opportunity to truly become your own friend. Traveling alone is a learning process; some people travel for leisure, I travel to run into myself!
His action of joining them, which would have been rude in a restaurant that was not moving at three hundred kilometers an hour, was perfectly acceptable on a train, which mimicked the entirely random joinings of life but revealed their true nature by making them last only hours or days, rather than years and decades. People on a train form an alliance, as if the world that surrounded the parallel rails were hostile and and they refugees from it. The dining car, humming and rocking gently in the night, annihilated past and future and made all associations outside of itself seem vaguely unreal. So they welcomed him at their table, for he was one of them, a traveler, not one of those wraiths through whose night-lit cities they passed.
Real travel is not about the highlights with which you dazzle your friends once you're home. It's about the loneliness, the solitude, the evenings spent by yourself, pining to be somewhere else. Those are the moments of true value. You feel half proud of them and half ashamed and you hold them to your heart.
Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess (slaves). Indeed, Allah does not like those who are proud and boastful.[Al-Qur'an Surah Nisa 4: 36]