This is a conversation I have frequently when discussing travel. It is, I have come to understand, the funhouse-mirror version of the reaction I inspire when I reveal that I enjoy NASCAR or college football or fried alligator — a “but you like this, therefore . . .” non sequitur that is irrational but deeply held.
“Should I not like France?” I like to ask.
“No, I mean, it’s just . . . well, it’s so . . . isn’t it?”
It is so, yes. It’s ineffable, unique, stubborn, and — to me — reassuringly familiar. At the crossing between Dover and …