A lot of friends ask me, “Why do you need to travel more? You’ve been to so many countries, what’s left to see?”! These are obviously people who have not traveled!
Every country, every community, every city, every people are different!
So I thought about it so much that I wanted to share with you all WHY I feel this need to travel & travel & travel. In a nutshell, it’s JOY!
The best example I can think of that I have literally felt & remember clear as the hand in front of me is when I returned to Matera, Italy in 2016. When I got off of the train & began my 3 mile hike with my heavy backpack on, camera/computer pack in front, & daypack just hanging from my hand, I was tired but excited. I met a girl along the walk who had been on my train & who was from Malaysia. She had never been to Matera. I offered to show her the way & we talked about our travels as we walked. Her conversation faded into the background as we entered the Sassi (the ancient, original Matera) as I felt my chest expand to allow room for the joy in my heart which spread into a giant smile on my face! Brought back to the present, I helped her find directions to her Airbnb & I continued on only to strike up a conversation with an elder local. He wanted to divulge his proud knowledge of the ancient city & actually taught me something I hadn’t known. He only spoke Italian.
That was just an hour into arriving in a foreign city. In this case, I could speak the language (understand it much better than speak it but I could communicate) & had been there once before.
Arriving in a new country, well, there are so many nice surprises!
Thrilling a child who has been studying English but, it’s been just a chore until he gets to use it! His face lights up with excitement & embarrassment because his “English is not so good” & my face lights up because I’ve made his day!
Accepting the help of a local who is also just excited to be around a foreigner. These locals have driven me hours away from our beginning location just to ease my journey to next. They have opened their homes & introduced me to their families. They’ve shown me proudly around their cities. Not all of them spoke English or any language that I know. Communication is all in the eyes, hands, smiles, & laughter.
True travel is about trusting strangers, taking risks, & defeating your fears as you go.
THIS is why I continue to travel. The joy in the beauty of the view, the joy in shared laughter at ourselves, the joy in our inept attempts to communicate and the joy when we finally understand, the joy of appreciation and the experience! The joy of life. Life is way too short!!
Do you get it?
I’ve taken a break from writing but not from traveling so will do my best to continue where I left off in my travels. Regardless, YOU get out there and see and do and meet and live!