There’s a quote I really love, one that has resonated with me since I’d first heard it, some years ago now. From the pen of the French poet, Anais Nin.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls”
Since beginning my own travel journey and crossing paths with others on theirs, I am grateful for the courage I took to make that first leap of faith. To book that ticket, buy that backpack and walk into the unknown, only to find then lose myself, then find then lose myself...infinitely.
Travel seems big and scary and sometimes, it is.
There’s the shock of being ripped from your comfort zone, from routine and being placed in a totally unfamiliar environment. With that though, comes the joy of seeing that YOU, yes, YOU, you’ve got this! That you’re capable of so much more than you had thought possible. That you can make friends with the cool looking Finnish punks in the park and you can maneuver your way around foreign metro stations. You can read that map; hitchhike that country. You can find home and yourself in places you’d least expect.
You’ll realize that despite cultural differences, language barriers and oceans spanning between hometowns - that really, at our core, we’re all a lot more similar. You’ll learn that a smile transcends language.
Traveling connects you with people you might not normally have had the chance to meet. When you’re open-minded and receptive, you’ll learn a lot about the world, criss-crossing paths with all sorts of characters. Some you’ll get along with and who’ll become instant best friends, some not. Some cities you’ll fall head over heels in love with and never want to leave; some not.
You’ll learn more about yourself by getting out of your home turf and mixing things up. You’ll learn more and more about what situations, cities and people you enjoy and this knowledge is what helps you grow. If you think of yourself as the seeds to a flower yet to bloom, you’ve got to test the different soils.
Travel to taste foods you’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce the names of. To listen to music played on instruments you’ve never seen. To hear the sound of your footsteps on cobbled streets. To feel the nervous excitement when the plane lands and you step out into the unknown - to a new adventure.
And if you’ve got the right attitude, returning home from travels is half the fun - to see the old places with new eyes, with a new knowledge of what exists further beyond your everyday and what it is you want to change in the world! But in your own backyard! Act Local, Think Global!
But why take this writer’s word on it? Find out for yourself and discover the world that is truly your oyster. Sorry not sorry for the cliche!
The bigger question is, Why not Travel?
But reader beware, the travel bug bites harder than those bed bugs you heard that that guy at that hostel had ;)