Travel Wisdom from Into the Woods
If you’re like me, you’d do anything to get out of actually spending time with family on Christmas (in fact, if you need tips on how to get out of traveling home for the holidays next year, check this out). But if you have to have together time, you might as well do it at a movie theater where you can all be together but you don’t have to talk to anyone. It’s a popular Christmas tradition where I’m from. Plus, some of the best movies of the season debut on Christmas, so you can see them before anyone else.
Yesterday, Into the Woods opened in movie theaters. Based on the 1986 Broadway musical from Stephen Sondheim, the long-awaited film version is every theater kid’s wet dream. But, with a plot based on an epic journey (or two) into the woods, the musical has a lot to say for travelers.
Here is some of the best travel wisdom from the lyrics of Into the Woods:
(Warning: some spoilers ahead.)
It may be all
in vain, you/I know.
Into the woods
But even so,
I have to take the journey.
Prologue: Into The Woods
Anyone who has ever traveled knows their trip may all be in vain. Maybe you think you’ll find yourself, maybe you think you’ll save the world, maybe you think you’ll meet a prince, maybe you think you’ll reverse a curse. But…maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll get a tan and take some awesome photos. And that’s OK. Because you’ll never know how things will turn out if you don’t take that trip.
What’s your rush?
You’re missing all the flowers.
The sun won’t set for hours,
Take your time.
Big Bad Wolf
Hello Little Girl
Sometimes backpackers like to rush, figuring the number of countries they’ve visited is more important than what they got out of each country. Relax a bit. As they say, sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. Take a page from Little Red Riding Hood and stray from the path to stop and smell those flowers…
And take extra care with strangers,
Even flowers have their dangers.
And though scary is exciting,
Nice is different than good.
Little Red Riding Hood
I Know Things Now
Or, maybe you shouldn’t stray from the path and take your time. I mean, Little Red Riding Hood took that advice, gets conned into straying from the path, and ends up taking a pretty nasty journey down a wolf’s esophagus. So, just be careful out there. Strangers can be exciting and super cool. But they can also be pedophilic wolves.
And you think of all of the things you’ve seen,
And you wish that you could live in between,
And you’re back again,
Only different than before,
After the sky.
Giants In The Sky
Coming home from travel is a hard thing. Just like Jack experiences a whole new world at the top of a beanstalk, you might feel the same in Burma or Botswana or Bolivia. And coming back has it’s ups and downs: it’s familiar, but you feel different being there. It’s not a bad feeling nor a good feeling, but sometimes you wish you could have both worlds, and live somewhere in between your life at home and your life in the beanstalk.
At home I’d fear
We’d stay the same forever.
And then out here-
It Takes Two
Travel changes you. Who you are at home is not necessarily who you are on the road. You may start out a timid baker but after some time out there in the real world you may find that you’re more passionate, charming, considerate, clever…
I am no longer a child. I wish to see the world.
Stay With Me
Because, duh. Rapunzel is pretty smart for a chick who has been locked in a tower all her life.
Princes wait there in the world, it’s true.
Princes, yes, but wolves and humans, too.
Stay With Me
So, yes, the witch is a bitch and parents (and your friends) are always wondering why anyone would want to travel because the world is a scary place. But this advice is kind of spot on. When traveling, you’ve just got to watch your back. Because yes, there are those princes (and HAWT Australian surfers), but there are also pickpockets, rapists, and people who are just too lame.
So then which do you pick:
Where you’re safe, out of sight,
And yourself, but where everything’s wrong?
Or where everything’s right
And you know that you’ll never belong?
On The Steps Of The Palace
It’s sometimes hard to decide to take the plunge and travel long-term. Do you stay at home, in your comfort zone or do you break out of there and travel, even if you’re not sure it’s the right way to go. You could be like Cinderella, and leave your shoe so someone else has the next move. You could wait until a friend is ready to travel around the world with you. Or you could take the initiative, put all your doubts aside, and just go!
No one is alone. Truly.
No one is alone.
No One Is Alone
It’s a common misconception that solo backpackers are lonely. But in reality, backpackers are never alone. All they have to do is check into a hostel room and all of a sudden they can have eleven new friends, sleeping in the same room! And they don’t even need to kill a giant to figure that out.
Let your hesitations be hushed.
Any moment, big or small,
Is a moment, after all.
Seize the moment, skies may fall
Seize the moment, because you never know what might happen. A lot of people say they will travel “later,” putting it off to a date that never comes. Maybe they get sick or have a kid or get a job promotion or a big tall terrible giant climbs down a beanstalk to terrorize their kingdom. And then that travel date never comes. So seize the moment, and travel (or make out with that married prince…) because there is never a right time and you never know what might happen if you don’t. And if you do, there might just be a happy ending in it for you after all (and I’m not just talking about the kind you get in a Thai massage parlor).
Have you seen Into the Woods? How has it inspired you to travel?
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