Why should today be more important than the rest? There have been many times when I have wondered about the value of a given day, or of a given place rather. It seems that, while travelling, everything is new and interesting and wonderful. How could it not be? Memories are more vivid, experiences higher treasured. But is this phenomenon solely geographical; or is it based more off of a change in mindset and outlook? I would argue the latter.
If our souls deeply believe that whatever new place we stumble through will be enchanting and meaningful, then our minds will perceive it as such.
The grass is always greener, right? Surrounded by the freshness of beauty abroad one cannot help but value it on a higher level than our slightly withered grasses from home. It is almost inevitable that our “real” lives will take the very back seat while our “fantasy traveler” lives will sit so comfortably in the front.
We can be whoever we want to be abroad; and the people we meet will probably only get a chance to meet our adventurous traveler alter egos. Hopefully these egos are near that of our own, but first impressions may be all you and your new best friend have time for before parting ways in the morning.
Though, on some level, choosing between the two, I believe that our fantasy traveler alter ego may in fact be the real one. It is unguarded, accepting, adventurous, fascinated and just happy in general.
What a brilliant and liberating thing it is to be able to feel and be and do exactly how you please, to be your true self. At home, maybe only a privileged few will get to see this person, but abroad he/she is shown to everyone. At home we may retreat from stresses or boredoms or annoyances of day-to-day life, thus concealing our liberated selves; but abroad, nothing is holding us back. There is no reason to walk quickly or be hectic or too busy, to shut the world off for some unimportant importance.
The only thing you have abroad is time and people, essentially all anyone really has, but the traveler has an eye to notice. Thus they spend their time wisely, simply and with people. The day-to-day is given more value, and surprisingly more hours. Time goes by faster yet slower, the people you meet are many yet memorable, and the events that transpire are unexpectedly wild yet extremely humbling and cherished.
Though, however long or short, a traveler’s trip will eventually come to an end. Many either love or loathe the idea of returning home, but in it they usually experience an unfortunately quick transition back to the normalcy of routine. Things seem less exciting, less important. The mind constantly wanders back to traveling life and forward towards plans of getting back on the road.
Though possibly the mark of a well-seasoned and wise traveler is that of one who can see life anywhere as a version of traveling life. To get to the point where beauty, however normal, is seen everywhere may be the ultimate goal; where the wanderer must no longer be lost to find new admiration, and where the restless soul no longer stirs in its own mystifying complexity. Perhaps the life of a wise traveler is one that needs not to travel at all.