Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Genius Loci Returns!

I have no excuse...while I have a Tumblr (Tumblog?), I rarely update it.  When I do, the main thing I post is pictures of vegan food that I make; I only do the occasional ace-related reblog.  For a couple of reasons, I haven't felt very creative lately, including in the kitchen.  But today while I was taking a walk, a couple of things gelled together in my head (don't you just love it when that happens)?  So, here you have it...another continuation of the thoughts from this post.  I also have a "place" tag here, although it's not very populous yet.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a woman who's training as a psychologist.  She mentioned that sharing novel experiences with your partner is one of the main ways we get a "falling in love" feeling.  When you associate a certain place or activity only with your partner, they start to become more special to you.

Randomly enough, this made me start thinking about my love of London.  In London, I had many novel experiences, and I think this is part of what caused me to love it so much.  I had a lot of new realizations about my life, including that I was asexual.  The concept of unique associations also holds true.  Immediately after returning from London in 2005, I had an episode of major depression for the first time.  So I came to associate London with a "simpler time" when I was unburdened by serious mental health issues.  As you're seeing, none of this has anything to do with the city itself.  Maybe this can shed some light on why so many people fall in love with folks who seem "wrong for them" or just completely random.

But that's not to say there's any formula for love, either of people or of place.  I had plenty of novel and meaningful experiences in Walla Walla, Washington, but I disliked it for three years, only coming to feel positively about it in my fourth and last year of living there.

In a couple of weeks, I'm going back to London, for the first time since 2005.  I have no idea whether I'll love it as much as I once did, or whether it'll just seem like another place, albeit a very interesting one.  There are definitely pros and cons to each outcome.  I've been meaning to go back for years, but World Pride finally got me off my butt.  I'm looking forward to meeting many, many asexuals.  And since I might actually have internet access, maybe there will be some reports from the field!

This is also much longer than any trip I've ever taken by myself, but traveling alone is a single-person skill that I want to develop.  So, we'll see how that goes.  After 3 weeks of travel, hopefully I'll have some tips for any other folks embarking on similar journeys.

(Thanks for the comments, Ally!  I meant to respond but time got the better of me.  I remember you mentioning that you also love London, so hey!)


Anonymous said...

I'd like to work up the guts to travel alone and am building my way up to that. People love to instill doubts in my brain over this, and don't understand why I would ever want to travel alone.

For everything I read though, it is awesome.

Sara K. said...

I've been to London twice: 2003 and 2006. Both trips were very brief, but I had a good time. Be sure to catch some shows at the Globe Theatre while you're there - some of the best live theatre experiences I ever had I had there, and I've seen hundreds of live theatre shows.

I definitely associate things with novel experiences. For example, I will always think of Mountain View as the first place where I lived away from my parents.

As far as travelling alone ... wow, I really dived into the deep end of the pool on that one. The first time I traveled alone ... I was not just traveling alone, I was moving *alone* to a foreign land with no job or permanent housing and limited funds ... heh heh heh, it worked out okay though.

Now, I think nothing of traveling alone. In fact, I prefer it to traveling with a group, because when I'm alone I can do what I want when I want instead of having to compromise. If I want company, I can talk to whoever I encounter in my travels (I've had many interesting conversations this way...)

Ily said...

@Anon: Yeah, I don't get why people would be in disbelief over you wanting to travel alone. I mean, what if you want to go somewhere that no one else is interested in going to? For one.

@Sara K: I saw some plays the last time I was there, but not at the Globe. I'll see what's playing! And yeah, I have been on a couple of trips with people whose "travel styles" were so different from my own, it might have been more enjoyable to be by myself.

heidi said...

Unrelated, sort of! But I saw this and thought of you: http://dating.failblog.org/2012/06/04/dating-fails-you-dont-believe-in-the-sex-gods-you-heathen/

...also, I was in SF last weekend and thought of you, but was at a wedding and visiting family and considered it a pilgrimage to your region.

Ily said...

@Heidi: Hiya! That comic is like something I might have thought about myself before I learned that asexuality existed. Did you have a good trip? It's lovely to be thought of, thank you :)