People like to call us hippies, nomads, vagabonds, I’ve never really been big on labels, I just know I like to travel, to wander the world, to explore, to seek new adventures and meet new people, is that so bad? Why do we have to be labelled as irresponsible, or unreliable, we are who we are, we like what we like it’s not fair we are judged so harshly when we do not judge people living in monotony which to me would be the worst thing that could happen to my lifestyle.
Some people are okay with monotony, some people prefer that and I can’t understand it but I also can’t say anything bad about it just because I don’t want that in my life. I just know that it doesn’t work for me and in many ways we, and by we I mean all lovers of travel, can relate to society as well, we don’t have to be excluded, we follow many of the same societal standards. Society is based on consumption correct? I am sure we all agree on this, travelers consume all the time as well, did you think that because we travel we are not consumers, wrong! We are the number one consumers, worst than all shopaholics, we just seek to consume different things; we consume cultures, visas, experiences, relationships, adventures, we consume al right! Society says we need a religion, I have that too, I have a governing power, I do everything in order to grow, to experience, to appreciate every little detail in life. I am not saying I have to travel to enjoy something new, I live by being happy and smiling about everything and enjoying everything, I think this is more meaningful than just going to mass every Sunday because you feel you have to. Society says we need a “family” to fit the standard, I have a ton of them, I have traveled so much that I have a family in every country I have been to, people whom I love and people that love me back, people I care about, people I still stay in touch with, people I have helped and people who have helped me. Isn’t this a family? So you see, we are very much alike to the rest of the world, we just see things with different eyes; I have found that everyone travels for several reasons, and everyone perceives their travels in a different way.
I’ve asked a lot of people why they travel and the answer conscious or unconscious is usually “to find something”, to find the love of my life, to find a job, to find a business venture, etc. I understand we are all lost at some point in our lives and we don’t really understand where we are going, what we want to do, what kind of person we want to be, what we want our other person to be like, and I think we all have to go through this stage in order to ensure we are heading into our true selves, our true destiny but we tend to overanalyze and not trust ourselves to make the right decision. Guess what? There is no right or wrong decision, you have this thing called intuition, we tend to lock it up in the closet and not pay attention, but most of the times, your inner YOU is helping you out to point you in the right direction so don’t fight it. Let go a bit and let life show you what you want or don’t want in your life, don’t set your mind to know what you want because that will never happen, we are every growing and we always like or want something different, so I don’t believe we can tell exactly what we want. So stay open, stay open to things you might not know you like or want.
This is why I travel, to immerse myself in the unknown, to acquire skills or to activate those skills I didn’t even know I had. I never ever saw myself opening up a fish or driving a humongous truck but I’ve had to do it and I can’t explain the satisfaction it brings to know you can do more things than you ever thought you could. I admit I like the challenge, I like to know I can go and be by myself, living in monotony sometimes makes us a bit codependent so just knowing that I can go and be alone without feeling alone, knowing I can set my mind to do something and do it, knowing I can set fear aside and just open my eyes and heart to this new experience to come. Through this new eyes I can educate myself, educate myself in things no university or person can give you, this is education many never get to have and I want it, I want to learn first hand about politics, about history, about art, about sociology but most importantly I wan to learn to always return to myself, to not get lost, to know where my balance is, to listen to myself and enjoy myself every second of the way. I have to admit I also do it for the food, I am a big foodie and just plain overindulging person so I love to experience new spices, new entrees, new flavors in my life. It inspires me to cook, I might not be good at it, but it’s still fun to try and taste. You will appreciate food so much more once you get to a country where everything is flavorless, seriously! There are places where food is just fuel for your body, it’s not meant for you to really enjoy. So you have to make sure you are open to the good in the bad, this in the end will be an experience.
Travel is an experience that opens your eyes and heart, you get to see the world with new eyes very single time you travel, every single experience makes you feel differently; travel makes you more creative. How could you not be inspired by the artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico making such colorful textiles and rugs? How can you not be inspired by the architecture of Pompidou Museum in Paris? All these physical experiences get your mind started on new ideas, maybe a new business, maybe a website, maybe a job, who knows! We will never get to prove this of course but Steve Jobs in many interviews has said that his trip to India changed his mind, maybe if he had not gone apple wouldn’t exist? Who knows! The point is his trip inspired him to create, to create this magical fruit that brings us such joy in life (guilty!)
I think the biggest misconception of travel is to think of it as getting on a plane or drive for hours to a new destination, when travel really is just an attitude, it is the way you see the world. Sure you can actually travel around the world and mark the map of all the countries you have been to, but a true traveler, a true wanderer doesn’t need a new country to be inspired by the mundane, to make the best of every day activities, to enjoy all the little things. Travelers don’t care about money, they care how far it will take them; travelers appreciate every single detail because we understand that we might never get to experience that same thing, or that people in India might not be getting to do what I am doing at the moment, even if it’s just enjoying my animal stye In’n Out burger.
If the world didn’t have explorers at heart what would the world be, what if Christopher Columbus didn’t have this urge to look for something he didn’t know was there, what would have happened? What would today look like? I am not saying I am going to discover a new continent but I think I can bring new eyes to my life and inspire people to to the same. If we all looked at the world with a different set of eyes, with new eyes onto every day, the world would be a better place. So I want to discover all that I can in order to be a better person, to make the world a better place for future generations to come, one traveler at a time, one new set of eyes at a time and an open heart at a time.
Many have called this urge of mine to go as childish and I admit it I am a child and always want to be, it is thanks to travel that I have grown but have also returned to my inner kid. I do my best to stay a kid at heart, to always return to that innocent eye that returns me to my innocent self, no fears, no trust issues, no overanalyzing, no problems. I always search to return to this stage, to clean out all the negative energy in my life my rusty self and come back to a new born me.
So what are you waiting for, make your dreams come true, don’t get so stuck on when to do it, how to do it, should I do it, if your inner self is telling you to go, GO! Just react and allow for that inner voice to be your compass, trust yourself and you will be surprised, I promise you will not be disappointed. All good trips are like love, you dive into the unknown and are pulled so deeply, left puzzling, not knowing what you feel or think, being carried out of yourself onto the unknown which is always a risk but do you ever regret having fallen in love? Didn’t think so..
And if you don’t feel this urge to go, or you really just can’t at the moment for whatever reason remember to stay a traveler, to remain a wanderer in your daily life. To make travel every day with your attitude, to open your eyes and wake up with new eyes every day. To wake up next to your person and see them in a new way, to kiss them in a new way, to walk to work and pay attention to people, to the sky, to your surroundings. Stop moving around the world and realize the world is moving around you more and more; movement is internal, so keep moving!