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Virginia Woolf; St. Ives, Cornwall
As a young girl, Woolf visited the seaside village of St. Ives, in the southwestern part of England, with her family and the happy, carefree summers there seem to have been some of the most positive of her life. Woolf wrote in "A Sketch of the Past" from Moments of Being: "...I could fill pages remembering one thing after another. All together made the summer at St. Ives the best beginning to life imaginable." Woolf further memorialized St. Ives in her novel To the Lighthouse which, though set on the Isle of Skye, is known to have been inspired by her long-past family vacations in Cornwall. This lovely passage from the novel perfectly encapsulates the beauty in being alone in your travels: "For now she need not think of anybody. She coud be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of - to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others... and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures.” It also, you know, perhaps speaks to a certain amount of mental darkness and despair, but that's not really the point right now.