An ode to traveling
I have never felt completely comfortable imagining myself forever staying in the place I’m in. It’s hard for me to stop and sit. Sometimes it almost feels as if there is a constant engine that drives me to the unfamiliar, unexpected and unknown. Traveling is and has been an important part of my life and I can only hope it will continue on to be so. So before I start writing about specific places, I would like to try and put into words what traveling means to me.
Why we travel is a question that has kept people’s minds occupied for a long time. I think we travel to lose ourselves, find ourselves, taste hardship, achieve goals, feel mesmerized and soak our souls in ancient cultures. Travel connects us with nature, makes us less materialistic, broadens our minds and teaches us to open our hearts. But more than anything else traveling has taught me the power of human interaction. Over the last years I have met many people and I had the absolute privilege to travel together with people that are close to my heart. They taught me that there are lessons that you can’t simply get out of a book. Without really knowing this, they’ve all had an enormous impact on my life. For me traveling is all about that.
I have experienced the universal power of laughter and the exhilarating feeling of exhausting yourself, as well as the struggle for education and the unfortunate consequences of the lottery of birth. All these experiences taught me to push myself towards my goals, appreciate food, take a moment and enjoy the crispy feeling of sliding your fingertips over a new map, sense how time stops when you feel of a warm beam of sunlight on your cheek, be humble and above all feel grateful. I’ve grown to like living out of a backpack, go with the flow, work hard and by doing so making my hair messy and my hands dirty.
But I also learned that travel isn’t always beautiful and it isn’t always comfortable. We get to meet people and we have to say goodbye and in most of those cases that’s a lot sooner than we’re ready to. It’s hard always being the one leaving. Sometimes it weighs on you, but that’s OK. In the end, the journey will change you because traveling is a whole lot more than just sightseeing. It will help you discover things you thought you would never see or feel.
The journey will leave marks on your body or on your heart. Most of the time, those marks are beautiful. Often though, they hurt. But in the end it’s all worth it because you will walk away knowing something no one else knows. More importantly, one day you will hopefully get to leave some marks of your own along the way.
So take a leap and do what makes you happy.