vale, Imperative Verbs and traveling solo / by Anthony Gibbins

A few posts back (on February 15 to be exact) I posted something on the Latin greeting salve salvete Be well! What I did not say then was that salve is in fact the Imperative Form of the Verb salveo, salvere to be well, a Verb rarely seen outside of its use as a salutation. An Imperative Verb is the form used to give somebody an order, the order here being the rather friendly be well!

A similar Imperative Verb is vale valete. vale is used to say fare well to one person, valete to more than one. At the end of Catullus CI, the poet's mournful meditation at the grave of his brother, Catullus finishes atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale and without interruption, brother, hail and farewell. Many schools and universities hold a Valete Dinner to farewell graduating students. But, unlike salveo, salvere, the Verb valeo, valere to be well, strong, in good health is often seen and heard outside of its Imperative Form. Indeed, we saw it at the opening of Claudia’s letter; si vales, bene est If you are well, it is well.

As Claudia and Marcus say goodbye, each choosing to continue their Pompeii trip alone, I thought of writing something about the joys of solo travel. But then I came across an article by Brande Plotnick that I did not think I could improve upon. Here is taste;

Nine Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone

2. Work on your bucket list Is there something you’ve been dying to try that no one is willing to try with you? Maybe you’d like to go skydiving over the Grand Canyon, see ancient Mayan ruins, or simply eat real Maine lobster. When your partner and friends don’t share every one of your interests, that’s OK, but it’s not OK to sacrifice your dreams, especially when all you have to do is get there.

3. You’re great company If you rarely spend significant time alone, you may be surprised at how enjoyable it can be. When was the last time you truly listened to only your thoughts and entertained only your dreams? Depending on the destination, a solo trip can be a powerful, introspective, life-changing experience. Imagine sitting on a peaceful beach at sunset or taking an invigorating morning hike without having to make conversation with anyone.

4. Meet new people If you’re a born extrovert, traveling alone can be a wonderful way to meet locals and make new friends. Often, people who are alone appear more approachable to others. Before you know it, you could be chatting with some interesting folks at a sidewalk cafe or even joining a group of like-minded people for yoga on the beach. The key is to keep an open mind while keeping safety in mind, especially in a foreign land.

6. It’s empowering If traveling makes you a better, smarter person, then traveling alone makes you super-better and super-smarter. For any of you who may feel uncomfortable even sitting alone at a diner to have breakfast, taking a trip by yourself might seem daunting. Once you take the plunge and get over your fears, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment. A successful solo vacation can inspire you to tackle even more things in life you’ve been afraid to try.

You can read the full article here. Brande is a self-taught home cook, gardener and writer. Take a look at her website, Tomato Envy, which Brande describes as Joyful, Sustainable and Deliberately Decadent. It promotes home cooking, gardening and ‘making nice with Mother Earth.’

After lunch Marcus and I said ‘Fare well’. It was very good to have a companion for a while, but I wanted to explore alone some more.

The Lego model of Pompeii is housed in the Nicholson Museum of The University of Sydney, Australia. Entry to the museum is entirely free, and you may visit Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 4:30. The Nicholson is Australia’s oldest University museum and contains the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere. 

The Pompeii model was commissioned by the Nicholson and constructed by LEGO Professional Builder Ryan McNaught. It is the third such model the museum has exhibited, following the Colosseum and Acropolis.  The Colosseum was returned to McNaught and recently exhibited around Australia. The Acropolis was denoted by the Nicholson to the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The Pompeii model is estimated to include 190 000 bricks and took 420 hours to complete.