A World Winder exclusive by Guestblogger Brett Sills, Author of My Sweet Saga
The following is probably one of the most honest things I’ve ever written. Perhaps embarrassingly so.
There are millions of reasons people travel. Ranging from good ones like the desire to experience a new culture, to bad ones such as, well, escaping the law. Some people spend lifetimes eager to see a landmark or city, while others just want to escape their annoying spouse. What’s my main inspiration?
The movie Before Sunrise.
If you’ve never seen it, you should. It’s a Richard Linklater directed film, starring a young Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, involving a random encounter between a young American guy and French girl, and their subsequent day/night together in Vienna. It’s a simple movie about two unlikely strangers finding love during one perfect night in a beautiful European city. It’s as precious and romantic as it sounds, and it’s ruined me forever. I first saw this movie when I was 29 years old, and, as I watched it, three thoughts quickly raced through my mind:
1) I want this experience
2) Oh fiddlesticks, I’m too old to have this experience.
3) I want this experience.
All of it. I wanted their initial meeting in the train, I wanted to share a first kiss in a Ferris wheel, I wanted to find a homeless guy who’d write us a love poem, I wanted a fortune teller to wax poetically about fate, and I wanted to do it after midnight in a beautiful park. Now, I suppose all these things could happen in my hometown of Los Angeles, but kissing on the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel while a not-so-poetic homeless man screams curses in our direction doesn’t quite sound as romantic as walking the streets of a historic European locale. Plus, making love in MacArthur Park after midnight is probably a death wish.
I’m sure the hope for the above is not the only reason I like visiting European cities, but it cannot be discounted. The influence of the film also might help explain why I’m drawn to places that aren’t necessarily known for being “romantic cities.” I mean, falling in love in Paris is cliché, right? Venice? Please. Who wouldn’t fall in love in a gondola? Because the obvious places are “boring,” I always go for something a bit “different.” So, with that in mind, I figured I’d spend my next European vacation in…
Yes, Belgium! That small country in between France and The Netherlands. Here’s what I know about Belgium:
1) It’s a country in Europe
2) Van Damme is from there (right?)
3) They are famous for waffles (I assume?)
4) It looks nice in pictures.
And it’s #4 that might be the main catalyst for this choice. I can totally picture myself walking the historic streets of Brussels, and noticing a pretty, young girl innocently sitting in a café. She’d make eye contact with me and think, “hmm, that is one short, skinny, interesting looking Jewish boy. I have a list of things to do today, but, ya know what? I’m going to blow them all off to get to know that chap.” Then, 15 or so hours later, we’d be kissing each other goodbye at the airport, while desperately trying to figure out when and how we will see each other again. She’d go back to wherever she’s from, and I’d spend the 12 hour flight back to Los Angeles with the satisfaction of knowing I found my “soul mate.” Ahhh, what a story it would make for the grand kids.
Pathetic? Maybe! But it’s probably a better reason to travel than escaping the law.
See you in Belgium!
Read more of Brett’s posts
Brett Sills is a multi optioned screenwriter/freelance ad writer who would love nothing more than to move to Europe and sell fruit. He just released his first novel, My Sweet Saga, which is available online on Amazon.com and all other major retailers.