What is travelling truly about – Part I
I wanted for some time to post an article on this topic, but I guess the meaning of travelling reveals itself in time and with the accumulation of more experiences. Therefore, I decided to split this post over several articles and thus to try to capture as many opinions as possible.
In this first article, I decided to post, with her permission, an e-mail that my friend Laura sent me while visiting China. I think she describes perfectly the feelings of first time travel:
“I absolutely love traveling. It is the most spectacular event that can bring us the most incredible and memorable experiences. I believe traveling is not about being in your comfort zone. It is, on the contrary, being in a certain state of anxiety and excitement, fear and exhilaration, curiosity and familiarity, all experienced at once. For me personally, traveling is also about meeting some of the most interesting people and about having some of the most unique lines of conversation along topics that would seem so mundane in one’s daily safe and predictable life. Traveling is about the unexpected and expected. It is about meeting a group of people from Uruguay and having a conversation for a few hours in the middle of the night somewhere in the south country side of China, while you are from Romania and working in The Netherlands. A conversation that you would probably vaguely remember but one that would create the feelings you will associate with that night. It is about getting lost in a country where you do not understand the language and they do not understand you. It is about survival and learning to adapt and grow as you face each day on the road. And the only way to learn this is through experience, trial and error, the hard and the easy way. It is about letting go of your conventional way of thinking and being willing to accept the irrational. Traveling is an experience beyond what words can explain. It can, at most, be felt.”
In this century, we have more power of movement than any of our ancestors. It would be a pitty not to try to discover, understand, smell and feel as much as we can in our lifetime. I do believe that one should invest a lot of time in education and work. However, this is, in my humble opinion, not enough. What you learn when travelling, is unfortunately not thought in any university course.