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The Innocents Abroad

“What is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man’s breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him?
Discovery!
To know that you are walking where none others have walked;
that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before;
that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere.
To give birth to an idea–to discover a great thought — an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain–plow had gone over before.
To find a new planet, to invent a new hinge, to find the way to make the lightnings carry your messages.
To be the first–that is the idea.
To do something, say something, see something, before any body else–these are the things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial.

What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me?
What is there for me to touch that others have not touched?
What is there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me before it pass to others?
What can I discover?
–Nothing.
Nothing whatsoever.
One charm of travel dies here.
But if I were only a Roman!
–If, added to my own I could be gifted with modern Roman sloth, modern Roman superstition, and modern Romanboundlessness of ignorance, what bewildering worlds of unsuspected wonders I would discover!
Ah, if I were only a habitant of the Campagna five and twenty miles from Rome!
Then I would travel.”

An excerpt from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
Formatted by Sarah Noh

Rome causes you to dig.
Something about it where there are layers and layers of history.
Where the architecture, the visuals, the air all exist horizontally and vertically.
This does not exist in many cities.
You get to discover so many different things.
You get random flashbacks to the past as you see pieces of history.
Buildings that have not been refurbished or mowed over.
Representations and reminders of what life was like and how things should not be taken for granted.

Snoh

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