For the Love of Travel

2012-08-20 13.06.48

I do not care too much about what I look like, or how others perceive me. I will not know the latest fashion trends, or notice your new shoes, hair cut, or purse. I might even forget to call you back or respond to a text message. My attention span will be compromised at times, as I daydream of unchartered territories and plan my next adventure.

I have lived life outside my comfort zone, hauling my backpack (my most valuable possession) for months. I’ve chased after the punctual European trains, hailed down buses in the middle of nowhere, sprinted for the overnight ferry departing to Croatia… and watched it sail away, leaving me stranded at the pier. But no misadventure strayed me from my journey.

I was scared at times, but now I’m great at handling crises.
I have become daring, a risk-taker.

I wandered the unfamiliar city streets in worn-out flip-flops
Some days for as long as 14 hours
I lost track of time, and my way
I lost myself in the gradient of vibrant colours surrounding me
Colours far more exciting than a life of black, white, and grey

I strolled along the rocky beaches in Nice, hiked up and down the winding alleyways of Siena, rode on donkeys, witnessed the golden sunset in Oia, drove along the Great Ocean Road, skated 14km on the Ottawa river, walked on volcanoes, held a Koala bear, was disappointed by the size of the Mona Lisa, celebrated Spain’s World Cup victory at the heart of Las Ramblas, had my breath taken away by the beauty that is Angkor Wat, and sipped on cheap champagne as I gazed at the Eiffel Tower. I immersed myself into my surroundings so much so that I did not question its peculiarities. I adopted it, embraced it, lived it, and fell in love.

I have rejoiced at the manmade wonders, been in awe of this beautiful place we call earth, and wept at the damage left behind. I felt the yearning trapped in the attic Anne Frank called home. I understood the enormity of the lives that had been taken when I stood in the abyss of the Dachau concentration camp. I heard the screams of the suffering children during the Khmer Rouge as I walked on the ground that swallowed their bones. I disappeared into the Holocaust memorial and felt the sense of insecurity captured within Eisenman’s design. I saw the scars of the Berlin Wall etched into the earth.

So, do not blame me for not noticing, because I am observant.
Do not be offended by my forgetfulness, as I am lost in the moment.
Do not question my attentiveness. Instead be intrigued by my daydreams, and let them consume you too.

Along my journey, I experienced something special,
And it changed my life.

Now, all I ever wants to do is live outside my comfort zone.

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