One world and its many wonders
Everyone has a fixation. It’s an indefinable fervor towards something one loves doing for no apparent reason - be it watching sports, hiking, reading or buying shoes. For me it happens to be traveling, perhaps a gene I inherited from my father long before it became a fad for our generation.
I have often wondered what’s the point of it all? Why is traveling around the world a ‘thing’ for so many of us? Sure, the conventional response ranges from wanting to experience different cultures, to meet different people, to feel an adrenaline rush, to take a break from one's busy routine or even simply to keep up with Instagram likes. Recognizing that there is no correct answer, why one likes to travel is really a subjective matter. While I can relate to the above responses, it still didn’t quite explain the ‘why’ and the fundamental appeal to me.
Self-reflection is hard and highly underrated but I wanted to form my own response or at least attempt at forming one. I tried to think of all the places I’ve been to over the years - What was it that motivated me to spend a significant amount of money, time and energy to fly thousands of miles away? What was so memorable about being surrounded by pristine landscapes? Why did a routine act of having a meal feel more special in a foreign land?
It’s hard to articulate but the reason is mainly twofold for me.
Travel & Magic
At its core, I think that knowingly or unknowingly people travel because of their inherent need to experience child-like wonderment again – it’s the kind of wonder that comes from the novelty of seeing or experiencing new things. Let me explain. When you were a child, remember the unadulterated astonishment you felt on seeing a magic trick for the very first time? It may have been a simple trick with a deck of cards or something more elusive, but as a child, that simple act of seeing something new, something different, something not quite explicable is very special - it piqued our curiosity and stimulated the mind. Travel, much like magic, creates that illusion of the extraordinary from the ordinary.
As we grow older, our appetite to be charmingly fooled is replaced by skepticism and we instantly want to decode the trick to outsmart the magician, than to let our mind float in a state of entrancement. The more we learn and understand things around us, the easier it becomes to lose touch with that child-like wonderment. It also becomes rather easy to slip into our mundane stupor, living our daily routines without a sense of awareness or amazement of our world. Our instinct to explore is ebbed away by the pressure to comply. Travel serves as a unique tool for adults to be more conscious, to experience new things, to enliven the conversation, and to help feel that same heightened sense of childlike enchantment once again. Travel for adults is what magic is for a child. Its appeal is universal. And since this pale blue dot has so many tricks up its sleeves, travel seldom fails to deliver the unexpected.
This brings me to the next aspect...
Travel makes you a storyteller
While we may never really comprehend the true purpose of life, I try not to get bogged down by this daunting thought. Rather, I steer my mind and energy to the question - What is my story?
Through our day-to-day lives, experiences and accomplishments, each one of us is slowly piecing together one’s own narrative. Every time I visit a new place, I’ve learnt something new – the degree of insight, relevance or bizarreness may vary, but each one is an addition to the countless memories that will make up my story. My hope is that among other things, my travel stories will lead to a more interesting life narrative. This website is an attempt to help me remember & document that narrative.
I see travel as an opportunity to celebrate life, to always remain curious and to help frame my own subjective truth about this world and its many unknowns.
Here's to many more stories...