In the Irish hills of Connemara and fields of Meath, in the Vogelsberg of Germany, in the Swiss canton of Sankt Gallen, I encountered thoughts that transformed my life. Travel broadens the mind by shaking it up.
Thus, in the summer of 2015 I accepted an invitation from a friend and her family to visit a tiny village in Bohemia. They needed someone to look after their house and their dogs while on a month-long holiday. I adore the landscape of Central Europe: its high hills, its wide rivers, its walkable forests, its green and golden fields, its bounty of flowers and wildlife. I awaken each morning to the call of the neighbour’s rooster; I hear sheep and dogs no further away than the next house; and more kinds of birds than I know how to name.
This will be the perfect chance to contemplate civilization from a distance, and to contemplate its alternatives from nearby.