The other day I told my neighbour that it has been way too long since I last got on a plane and that it is high time I get the hell out of my element and explore something totally new. She quickly reminded me that not even 6 months ago, I was in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Africa and Dubai. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been going around Korea all year.
Ok so maybe I just need new scenery.
Either way, sometimes I can’t help but feel a little restless. And this restlessness has got me thinking more about travel, and more importantly, why I like to do it.
I think the reason why I like to travel is linked to what randomly urges me to go – the need for perspective.
When I go to a place I have never been, that “out of my element” feeling gives me excitement before discomfort. It sparks curiosity before fear. It gives me energy.
When you travel enough, that sense of “out of placeness” tacks itself to memories, and those memories – no matter how vastly different they are – blend together to form one cohesive feeling of familiarity, a comfort.
Vulnerability fades and suddenly, whenever you’re out of you’re element, you’re actually in it.
If you know me at all, you will know that this is my life summed up in a picture:
Always saving up for the next big trip! (And drawing smiley faces everywhere!)
I once watched this interview where the guy was saying that we fail to realize that when we are in a plane, we are on a seat flying in the sky. It’s like the ultimate roller coaster ride. I love the energy of airports too- of people leaving and coming back, of people chasing their dreams and coming home. For me, it means being at the entrance of a world of possibilities.
I will always have a packed internal list of places that I want to go, of experiences I want to have. That’s just what happens when you happen to have as much pent-up wanderlust as I do. I also fully expect these places and experiences to continually evolve as life progresses and past travels make their impact.
We all have the right to travel in a way that defines who we are for ourselves. For many people that means traveling to the local store, the next community, or to a big city, and for others it means being able to see the world. Traveling, even if it is only to your nearest family member’s home, allows you to see things from a different perspective. It gives you the opportunity to get out of the enclosures of everything that is normal for you and look at things in a different light.
As Pico Iyer says…
“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”
So dear readers, I entrust my better half to man the blog in my absence as I jet off today to quell my restlessness and defeat some wanderlust in Cambodia.
I will be back on the blog in 2 weeks and until then, I leave you in Faraaz’s capable hands 🙂