Wednesday 14 March 2012


I have been dreaming of traveling (for an extended period of time to explore the world) for a very, very long time, and not until today did it ever feel like it would come true. My friend and coworker and I decided to be travel partners and embark on an incredible journey in the coming months, and very fittingly, she encountered this poem later today which I take as a sign that this journey/adventure is meant to happen very soon. I had not read this poem since high school, but I was quickly reminded of it after the first line, and was overcome with emotion in reconnecting with these beautiful words.


As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon-don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon-you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind-
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

By C.P. Cavafy


Jane said...

What is the saying, journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? This is our step! Whatever the next few months hold I really do want to make our travel dreams a reality!

I'm loving your blog! So Cat!

catalina said...

Thanks Jane!! The ol' blog is turning 3 this year - my how time passes. I feel old.

And YES, we will travel. We WILL. It is mean to be.

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