Are travellers running away? What are we running towards, what are we running away from?
Not sure why, but there’s a perception that anyone who travels on long trails, travels to escape “real life” and responsibilities. There is a perception that anyone who travels for more than one or two weeks, travels because he or she is not prepared to “settle down”, to find a “real” job, pay bills and plan a family.
Once I got a comment on my blog from a girl who wrote me that it’s OK if I don’t “travel all the time”, because sometimes, I need to live a life.
I wrote her back that I travel because I like to run.
Left in Colombia
Traveling is running towards a better version of me. I run, not to make my fears and insecurities disappear, but to face them. Let me explain. If we’re always in the safe vicinity of our family and friends, how will we ever find out how to be on our own? Why is it so important to spend time on your own?
We are born and die alone. At night when we close our eyes, we are alone. Other people cannot make us happy if we haven’t found happiness within ourselves first. Love. We cannot love other people if we haven’t figured out what is meaning of love for us. That’s why I travel far and wide. Demanding destinations guarantee personal growth. When my Colombian friend left me in the middle of Cali, the world capital of salsa and in of the most violent cities in Colombia, I wasn’t indifferent. Colombia was for more safer from his car and guidance.
– You have to overcome fear. You travel to meet the world and to document it – he said and literally threw me out of his car with handwritten instructions on how to get back to him.
I sit in the waiting room and watch the snowflakes stick to the airplanes. While I wait for the boarding, my eyes glance across the man in front of me. In a business suit and with a stern face, he plays games on Facebook. He nervously presses the digits on his mobile phone, while his face remains perfectly still. ‘A little bit longer, a little bit longer, and you’re there’ – I keep telling myself. To the East. To the East. We finally depart. My first solo traveling this is.
To the East…
It seems to me that everyone who spends a lot of time thinking, eventually find themselves setting off for the East at some point in their lives. The truth, the magic of the East calls upon every one of us, but do we all hear its call?
Travelers are the strongest people I know. We travel for adventure, for different and for the unexpected. We are strong, confident and know how to get by in 3892 different situations. I never met a boring traveler. “We travel for stories! What is a man without a story?!”, said my Argentinian friend Franco.
Our lives are formed by coincidences, chance meetings and unknown souls. We are not afraid of anything. We don’t break easily. We put amazing photos on Facebook and Instagram, and make you jealous because we swam with sharks or dived in Thailand or ate some weird stuff. We change destinations, we go in and out of people and comfort zones. Maybe you always see us smiling and think that we are completely in control of our lives. That’s mainly true except when it comes to one thing – love.