That’s Amore

falling in love with a country


Hearts on a featured image? An article about love? Has the Critic succumbed to madness, or did you step into some twisted alternate reality, as would be imagined by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert W. Chambers? Luckily, it’s not of those. The world did not stop spinning, nor did I lay may eyes upon The Old Ones. This is me, by my own free will ( and with a relatively healthy mind) writing about the act of falling in love. Sickening, I know, but even I, one made of grumpiness, can be a romantic (romantic and critic are basically the same thing. I mean, they both have tic in it, right?), and I too fall in love.

So what’s love got to do with with a travel blog? Am I gonna talk about vacation romances, and flings? Don’t be so disgusting. I’m not talking about falling in love with a person (skipping the bestiality and furry jokes here), I’m talking about falling in love with a place.

Much like falling in love with a person, it can happen unexpectedly, without a reason, or at first sight. Your first trip to Italy made you realize “this is the place for me.” Every visit to South Korea feels like being home. Somehow, the people there seem a little bit nicer, the places more scenic, the food tastier. Like your first crush, everything about this country seems perfect. You willfully ignore it’s flaws, or simply are blind to it. Like that celebrity you’ve never met, you can lose your heart to a place you’ve never visited.

For me, it’s Patrick Stewart Japan. I’ve never been there, but for me, the place has a special allure, though it’s hard to explain why. Perhaps I saw too many samurai and ninja flicks as a kid, or too much hentai as a teen, but I’ve always had a certain affinity with the country. I can refrain myself from over romanticizing the idea of walking under the cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, and hopefully, from cultural appropriation. But have it seen only in images and on videos, I seem to love it all; From the northern mountains of Hokkaido, to the warm beaches south in Okinawa. Is that a joke about female anatomy? I think it is.

But why do we fall in love with one place, and not with another? I think many people have a desire to travel, to explore, to venture into the unknown. But at the same time, we also long for a place to call home, a place where we can truly be ourselves and feel free. Perhaps the place, or country we fall in love with, is the one that strikes the magical balance between both desires. The right amount of awe and wonder, mixed with familiarity and comfort. Is any of this true, or am i talking out my ass once more? I’m not the romantic in transit, I’m no expert of love (but I am an expert at making love). But I can tell you one truth;

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, you’re craving for pizza.

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