Book About Travel Opposites

MIT linguist wrote a fine travel memoir.

TravelJunkie-coverI Married a Travel Junkie has been on my “to read” list for too long. I finally picked it up and found it so delightful that I raced through it. Being an MIT professor emeritus of linguistics, author Samuel Jay Keyser (known as Jay) not surprisingly has a way with words.  I identified with his and his wife’s different travel styles — that is, she is passionate about travel and he would just as soon stay home. My husband and I are similar.

Jay wrote with humor and insight about the reality that Nancy is more passionate about travel than Jay is. Similarly, I love to travel much more than my husband does. I have a taste for the exotic and am willing to wade into unfamiliar cultures. He prefers traveling to uncrowded places where English is widely spoken and the food isn’t too weird. We both love beautiful natural places, plus the occasional beautiful man-made environment.

But one Jay Keyser observation rang especially true for us. My husband  can identify with: “Being married to a strong-minded, travel-committed woman can be a real trial or travail. ‘Travel’ and ‘travail’ are  originally the same word…toil; exertion; hardship; suffering….I have become, in spite of myself, what most people would consider a world traveler. This is not out of choice. My world-traveler status is a epiphenomenon–the cost of being married to Nancy.”

I enjoyed the book — a lot — and felt a distant kinship with Jay and Nancy.