I Can't Explain...
My attempt to describe to you the experiences that leave me speechless.
I can't explain how travel makes me feel. It's so much of a sensory experience that words are often hard to find. It's the aromas, it's the sounds, it's the connection to a place and the people you meet there.
It's going somewhere unknown, having this idea in your head of what it's going to be like, and then being completely blown away by how it actually is. It's having enough trust in yourself to take a chance on getting by in the world - not just a city or town, but the entire world - even if it's just you and your backpack. To go out into the unknown, intimidating world, and then being able to navigate your way around while meeting individuals who share this ideal is not something I can quite describe with words. But I'll try.
You meet people who you fall in love with so fast and so deep you think you may be crazy. But you aren't, it's just embracing the feelings that are there so you let them be. You have no promise of a future with anyone you meet. You feel like you can be yourself. You feel more like yourself than ever before. You relish in the deep connections you share, even if they're brief. You want what's lying before you, you need no promise of what will be, but only what is right now.
Often though, these people you meet turn into the greatest friendships you've ever had, and you continue to travel together. You guys get it. You guys know what's going on in the other person's head because you're one in the same. You're travelers - you're living on the same frequency.
I want to meet every city, and for it to meet me.
As a traveler you begin to crave the unfamiliar - new music, new places, new people. You want new experiences no matter how uncomfortable it is to get to them. 27 hours to reach your destination, planes, trains, and crazy cab rides don't hinder you from embarking on the adventure awaiting. Each place you visit leaves a new impression on you, good or bad. You love some places so much you cry once you have to leave, other places you hope to never return to. But either way, you're learning, growing, and appreciating what each city taught you and opened your eyes to.
Tavel has become my greatest teacher. It has become my University that I proudly root for. Familiarizing yourself with an unknown city is the equivalent of a masters degree for me. Learning the subway and other public transit is like a doctorate. I feel the city vibrate around me. My eyes are open and I feel awake. I notice the people who see me, and I see them. I observe and dissect every ounce of what is going on around me.
... But, it's always hard to turn away from a life that pulls you in this tightly.
Going home is the hardest part. My heart breaks each and every time I board the plane home. I'm one of those people who belongs to no city, no person - only the world in its entirety. I belong to the world, and I feel the most at home when I'm discovering it. I relate travel to meeting a new crush when I first arrive to a city. At first, they can do no wrong, you're just in awe. Sometimes though, the dreaminess fades and you realize this city just isn't for you, and that's okay. We all have cities and countries we love and some we don't, all for various reasons.
Traveling is helping me to learn to love and appreciate myself as much as I love and appreciate travel. It's helping me become a brave, open-minded individual thanks to all the lessons I learn along the way.
You will begin to appreciate all life. I realize all of the people in this world have their own, unique role within it. From flight attendants to pilots. From the great architects to the artists who paint the artwork that hangs in their buildings. From the bus driver to the musicians who play on the radio in the background. I realize how each person, whether I personally interact with them or not, plays a particular role in this world, and along my journey they help create the experience I have. Every single person has a purpose in this world and has aided it in becoming what it is today. I love how far we've come, all the advancements we've made, and all the accomplishments we're able to share.
Being human is such a wonderful experience, we're all in this together, the least we could do is go out and see the rest of the world every once and a while. Cheers!