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Question take to the road

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I have another question.

What does "take to the road" mean here? Is it different from "take to the streets"?

From the textbook:
"For the most part, he walked. This kind of journey would be challenging for
young people, to say nothing of a man in his middle age. So why did he
constantly take to the road? What made him do it?"

Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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It means "travel" or "leave home." It implies a longer duration of travel than if you said "take a trip."

"Take to the streets" is different. Literally it means go outside into the street. But it is almost always used to indicate some sort of civil disturbance like a riot or a protest.
For a (too) recent example: Many Americans took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd.
 

hirashin

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I see. Thanks for the explanation.
For a (too) recent example: Many Americans took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd.

I read that President Trump is trying to appeal to military power in order to quell the protest. That's
crazy. When did the United States become China?
 

johnnyG

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One aspect of "take to the road" is an element of a quest or journey. The traveler is going in order to find/discover something--about the world, people, themselves, or maybe all three.

The myth of the quest is ancient back to the greeks and far beyond. It may be why early humans (and pre-humans) peopled the world, getting to australia some 40,000+ years ago, and as far as the tip of south america (monte verde) maybe 18,500 years ago.

When you take to the road, to be a true journey it will become a path to self discovery. The physical part is just a metaphor for an internal transformation.

Some quotes:

To travel is better than to arrive. (Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

It's the going, not the getting there, that's good. (Harry Chapin, Greyhound)

Nothing will ever bridge the gulf between the man who left, and the one who stayed behind. (?)

A razor and a change of shirt. He who would travel happily must travel light. (Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars)
 

mdchachi

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I read that President Trump is trying to appeal to military power in order to quell the protest. That's
crazy. When did the United States become China?
Well it's not the first time. The same thing was done during riots in 1992. However this time it makes zero sense to do so.
 
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