The item “write about what travel has done to me” has been scrawled on my to-do list for a long time. It was meant to be a post to force a bit of breath into my old blog, which I rarely updated after returning from Peru. I created that blog specifically for my time in Peru, however, and updating it felt a bit strained. Moreover, what has travel done to me? More than a post can say.
I intend to answer this question with this blog. I will post snapshots of my travels, both written and photographed (warning: older photos may be of questionable quality!) and try to impart how these explorations have shaped me. These will be tales of moments and feelings as they relate to places rather than detailed descriptions of deeds. I will speak of travels both past and future. And I hope these upcoming journeys are soon!
I aim to speak to the grander theme of how travel betters us, causing us to view life through a wider, more astute lens. And with this introduction, I also present this blog’s manifesto, a somewhat abstract description of the beliefs contained herein:
Travel is more than a state of mind. It creates your mind, shapes, molds, chisels it—if you let it. If you accept the excitement, the anxiety, the joy, the discomfort, the adventure, the fear, all that embraces and batters you as you set off for unfamiliar shores, states, wherever.
The world and its people are magical and limitless, and they are cruel and sad. There is no escaping this world. So instead you shape the world. You scatter dust here and there, sending little particles into the air. You fling your cobwebs around you as you trudge. The filaments take hold, binding you to places, stretching. Never breaking but setting you free and tying you down at once.
You see, travel makes you small, vulnerable. You may ache for a place and its people who you’ll rarely—if ever—see again. They may heal you but they’ll open a new wound. You’ll gaze at these scars infinitely. There is a dull tug at your chest. But it’s a happy one.
This is what makes you a better person. You begin to understand what’s real, as it is. You learn all that you haven’t yet learned—and may never will. But you’ll be closer, closer. Curiosity and open-mindedness feed on exploration, and they are never satiated. This hunger makes you grow.
You move. You seek revelations and fun and everything in between. This development, once learned, cannot be abandoned—you need to practice, because the fissures that widen in your mind, that absorb what you see, now know, may shrink back. And you want to continue, fly on.
So you must always look. Observe and learn, actively. Hold the knowledge, the feelings you gather; squeeze them tight so the imprints remain. Never let them go. You’ll walk stronger. You’ll be more.
Once you go looking, you already went.