I believe we all have different reasons for travel. Some use it to run away from something, others see it as a way of running towards. One travels for the destination, other for the journey. There are many reasons why I have to travel. HAVE TO. Not “want to” or “like”. Even the “need” seems too insignificant. Have you ever felt that itch underneath your skin that regardless how much you scratch it just won’t go away because it’s in too deep? That’s what this “have to” feels like. But I never really allowed myself to wonder why it’s there.
Travel always had a certain romantic appeal to me. Maybe it’s because of the literature – books and poems always glorify the journey. Use it as a metaphor of change, transformation, time when by connecting with the new world around, you somehow reconnect with yourself on some deeper level. I’ve seen myself changing with each trip I made. Every step towards the unknown brought me a step closer to discovering myself. Journey outside was a journey within.
Life between travels felt flat. Mundane. Boring. We live in a world where nobody stops to admire something. We have no time to just go for a walk and explore the world. We spend our lives on an auto-pilot stuck on the “efficient” mode. And in that rush, with the illusion of self-importance, we run towards death. We lost the art of living.
But all this disappears when you go away. Suddenly time stops galloping and you allow yourself to really feel the world, connect with something greater than yourself. You let yourself be you. The REAL you. You forgot to pack your “learnt” self. Congratulations, your life FINALLY started.
One of the most painful things about every day reality is how “every day” it is. We follow the same habits, do meaningless things convincing ourselves that they are absolutely crucial. We do what’s practical, necessary, useful, effortless. For what?
They call me perfectionist. They tell me not to expect so much from life. They tell me to be reasonable, down to earth. They convinced the whole society that this is how we should be. Maybe they convinced even you! Someone’s birthday? Get them a joined present that you pick up on the way to the club. Anniversary? Bunch of flowers will do. It worked last year after all. Christmas? No thank you, this year we’re too tired to do anything fancy. Since when did we stop celebrating life? There’s a reason why human beings developed traditions, rituals, even religion. We need those magical moments of contemplation, of appreciation, of saying “this IS a big deal”. We need this to stay human.
Maybe I am a hopeless romantic. Maybe it’s not healthy. Maybe I’m bound to get disappointed. But as long as I have travel I have my magic. I’ve got my journey within and celebration of life. And I get those random little moments when time just stops and everything falls in the right place and for those few seconds you understand why you’re on this planet. For few seconds you really connect with the universe. Driving motorbikes to the beach in Thailand to watch the sunset, eating kangaroo tail by the fire in the Australian outback, smoking nargile by the Bosphorus. This is my humanity. This is my celebration of life. And I hope it never stops.