Why Travel? Ask the Earl of Oxford


Maybe you travel for the challenge, or just for the hell of it. Or to learn about other cultures, or yourself. Or try out a language you learned in night school. Or see the cities where your favourite movies were set. Perhaps you want to escape a humdrum life, or recover from burnout, or salve a midlife crisis. You might want to put off the need to grow up, get a job and start talking at length about house prices.

Or else you had an accident in front of the Queen like the 17th Earl of Oxford. As Aubrey told the story in Brief Lives, with his spelling and capitalisation preserved:

 “making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares. On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart”.

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