Places to Go: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Places to Go is a special feature that The Reader is bringing to you in the hope that it may provide some inspiration on how we can spend our time at home during lockdown. We will be posting extracts from stories which highlight special moments of travel and adventure for you to enjoy. This week North West Hubs Leader Rachael Sumner shares a reading of Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.
One of the self-imposed challenges I have set myself to keep sane during lockdown, is to read the classic novels I have always meant to but for one reason or another, never have. I feel like we all probably have a list of those!
I actually started reading this novel many years ago and it only was when I found myself in an amazing Jules-Verne-themed area of a theme park (what a wonderful thing – thank you, Tokyo Disney Sea!) last year that I felt a pang of regret and resolved to actually finish reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
If you are unfamiliar with the story, we pick up here at Chapter 6, where the Professor and his nephew are at the beginning of their journey to discover what lies at the centre of the earth. The Professor believes there are volcanic tunnels and aims to discover where they lead and what lies below the ground. They are travelling together to Iceland to start their discoveries...
I wondered as I was reading this, if the excitement the pair felt to have arrived on the shores of Iceland, would be something we in our post-COVID-19 world will be more readily able to relate to – in a world of plane travel that is as accessible as a bus ride, a two hour flight to Iceland would hardly feel like much of an arduous journey for us at all. I imagine there are people who take that flight path as if it was a bus ride, heading there for business and returning the same day - our freedom of movement has been so ubiquitous, that I wonder if it has led to complacency on some level and if our freedom being restricted at this time will return a greater appreciation and wonderment in us when we are able to travel to places freely again. Certainly I have a higher appreciation for literally anything outside my own four walls at the moment, so I can only imagine how great it will feel to travel again and discover somewhere new.
Escaping into an adventure such as this one has really helped me at this time and something about the voyage of discovery rings true for me in how I am approaching life at the moment and the great, unknown future. I may not be able to go to many place physically, but through reading, I can ‘go’ to as many places as I want. I hope that you’ll take some inspiration from it too.