Home » Comments about Shep » JEAN SHEPHERD TRAVEL: Homilies Galore 2 of 2

JEAN SHEPHERD TRAVEL: Homilies Galore 2 of 2


“Deep down inside of me there is a little violin playing

that says, ‘Yes, why, why me?

Why am I the Flying Dutchman,

forever sailing over the seas–

the seven seas of this benighted globe?

Always looking, always searching,

hunting and never finding?'”

–Jean Shepherd


Jean Shepherd liked to talk about his enthusiasm for traveling, and he enjoyed promoting the advantages of travel to his listeners.  In short homilies on various radio programs he promoted traveling. Some of his comments about travel can be found in the various travel posts on this blog.  Here are a few others.

I’ve often said that there is nothing in the world—and I mean nothing in the world—to change you completely, irrevocably, and for all time, than travel.  And I mean real travel.  There’s a difference between traveling and touring.  A tourist often sees the world through the viewfinder of his Brownie.  He sees it out of the window of the car that hurries him though the countries he’s going to.  And that’s touring.  The world is very unreal when you do that.  It’s as though you’re on some kind of a trip on a toy railroad and the scenery’s moving past you and you’re just sitting still.  That’s a crazy feeling.  But when you learn to travel, then you begin to change.  You cannot get around it. 


I’ve never taken a tour in my life.  I just walk around and dig the scene, see.  And when I see a dirty, rotten, crummy, smelly alley, I go up it.  I mean, if I feel like going up that alley, and if I don’t, I don’t.  I see a lot of country and I see a lot of the world this way. 


As far as I’m concerned, travel—I have found to be one of the most—oh—use all these clichés, but it is the one thing I find that really, truly, does give me a kind of a final sense of involvement and satisfaction.

I love the sensation of being completely removed from my known environment, and just looking out—just being able to walk through a street that is—that is completely unknown to me—to look at people who are unknown, to go into a place that is unknown—a restaurant to look at—the sky is unknown. 


You know the one thing I think keeps most people from really enjoying travel—in fact enjoying life itself—is groundless fear.  I wonder where we develop these fears—early in our lives.  The fear of strange smell, for example, you know?  How many people have these fears?  The fear of strange food.  Yeah, that’s right!  The fear of strange names.  Just the name, for example—Tel Aviv sounds foreign.  It sounds vaguely dangerous.  I suppose most people would feel better if it was called Circleville—you know—or Littleton, or some name that you can handle like that.

Yet I do feel that fear—groundless fear—keeps most people from actually—genuinely enjoying their lives.  I’m talking about fear of all kinds.  Sexual, esthetic, and we could go further and further and further until finally you don’t know where it ends. 


If you ever have any doubts about spending any money on traveling, friend, forget it.  I’m serious.  The people that I always feel sorry for are people who are old and are about to depart this mortal coil, who have never traveled.  Who have never really seen the world.  And it doesn’t take a lot of money, you know.  Really doesn’t because it’s amazing how people tend to spend a lot of money on junk. 


Book cover choice 3.

My first 2 choices for covers of my Shep’s Travel book

I posted in the beginning of these travel posts: Parts 1 and 4.


Thus endeth Shep’s travels a la eb.

[It would still be so nice to see all my transcripts of Shep’s travels book-bound.]

Onward to other travails.



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