What is it about traveling that makes people almost high?
No idea. The bare, uninteresting fact is that traveling is nothing more than the movement of an object (usually you) from one point in space (usually home) to another point in space (usually a worn-out destination that you see in every other movie) using a few forms of technical assistance (transportation, money, and a bag of things that you don’t really need but it is good to have them just in case.)
And yet, this movement of people loaded with unnecessary luggage is one of the favourite pastimes of our wonderful time when there is nothing left to discover. Because wherever you go, someone has always been there before you, took a thousand photos from unimaginable angles with pathetic results, then posted these photos on Facebook to make the experience real. (Remember, it never happened if it is not on Facebook.)
Recently a fellow hitchhiker traveling the galaxy made a very interesting observation – when people go to see a famous site, they spend much more time taking selfies in front of that site than actually appreciating its beauty. After all, their own gorgeousness is far more deserving of online attention from known and unknown friends that they never had coffee with.
And yet, however I may agree with my own above mentioned opinion (it is kind of good to agree with oneself), it is more of a way to root for the opposite side. Because yes, traveling indeed changes you.
However shallow the touristic aspects may be, it is a fact – for me, at least, – that after each journey you return home a better version of yourself. Having seen, felt, experienced the new and unexpected, you come back with a whole new set of visions of the world as one colourful, noisy, and messy place that somehow continues to amaze.
So, to make things absolutely illogical and unclear for all (especially for the ones that don’t know me), I hereby state that a journey in space is one of the best ways to experience a journey within. The bare, uninteresting fact that it is just you moving from A to B doesn’t make your internal journey any less soul changing.
Pictures moving on the outside of windows, the smell of dust settling down the road after you pass, the dizziness of sunlight dripping through the mosaic of leaves hanging from above – all these can never be experienced in the comfort of home or office. It is only after you venture outside – out of your comfort zone and out of yourself – that you find new places not only on the map but also in your own inner world.
This metaphysical transportation in the geography of your own head brings about the complex, sometimes subtle change that you may not see but that happens every time you pack your bags and leave your usual self behind to try and find a new you. And you always do, sometimes without knowing, with the help of magical encounters on the way. For, wherever you go, there is always a hidden, Pokemon-like gem that has taken yet another peculiar form and is waiting for you round the corner, ready to tell you another story of change.
Why the Pokemon comparison? Because, in the end, it is all just a game…