When thinking back on my ever so carefree childhood, I realise that one of the fondest memories I have as a child is my quiet moments alone in my bedroom. That might seem baffling, but to me it makes perfect sense. It was never a time of lonesomeness or unhappiness, on the contrary… I understand now that it was the moments that gave birth to my lifelong love for travel, a passion that has lead me to the happiest moments of my tiny little existence. Little did I know it at the time that this love would turn into the desire it is today, something I can only describe as an obsession.
Well, come to think of it, it could only ever have lead me to where I am today. I can so clearly visualize that white, wooden wall behind my bed; no longer a blank canvas, but a backdrop for my never ending collection of pictures carefully cut out from my massive pile of travel catalogues that were so popular before the era of internet. Days on end I would flicker through these catalogues reading about charming people, picturesque villages and the most stunning picture perfect white sandy beaches you could ever imagine. I might’ve been sitting in my room, but my thoughts and spirits had already travelled far away from those four walls that was nothing but a reminder of the reality of my own life. It became obvious to me that if I couldn’t travel, then travel had to come to me…
Since then my desire to explore the world have led me to far away places all over the world, but no matter how many countries I conquer the heart never reaches satisfaction. A traveller’s heart always beats and thrives towards new adventures, bigger and greater than the one before and with every journey, instead of satisfaction, the wanderlust flourishes and grows deeper and more profound.
The wanderlust is both a curse and a blessing the traveller has to come to terms with and embrace. A curse dressed and disguised in the excitment of planning and the high of the travel itself. A true traveller knows that this unstoppable urge to always be on the move will undoubtedly effect every decision she will ever make. She understands that this force that drives her might lead her down a lonely path because the way she sees it, the life of a wanderer is often without companions. Yet she is never alone. And that is the beauty and blessing of travel. Wherever the wanderer goes she will always become richer in friends, knowledge and appreciation. Travel broadens the mind, nothing could be more true. It forces you to open your eyes wide, denying you the blindness of prejudice and narrow mindedness. The encounter with new cultures and people make you realize the diversity of our beautiful planet. It turns you into a better person, someone who possess the gift of tolerance, understanding, patience and empathy for the people you meet and the way they live their lives.
I am a dreamer, but also a realist. There is beauty in everything, but the beauty that we possess and the splendor of this planet is something we cannot take for granted. I believe that those who are blessed enough to be able to travel should do just that, because it is without a doubt the only thing you can buy in this world that will make you richer. To love people in different countries, to understand life in more than one place and to know the enormity and aesthetics of our planet is the reason why I will never be cured of my restlessness, desire to explore and obsession to travel this world.
At times the travel obsession makes you question your purpose in life. With age comes responsibilities and if I didn’t have enough brains to figure out my own path you can be sure that there are those who do. Ideas becomes expectations and eventually these expectations turns to pressure. There are so many ways to have peace, happiness and meaning in your life. No life can be mirrored down to the last detail. Everyone has their own dreams and their own goals in life and I’ll be damned if I turn my back on mine. And so when pressure heightens and life makes less sense I remember that I only have one life to live and this life will be nothing less than striving towards true, wholehearted happiness every day. Deep inside I know I will never really settle and that’s okay, because not all those who wander are lost and maybe, like me, they are simply finding themselves.
In the end all we ever want is to look back and know we were happy through the biggest journey of them all; life. And if there ever was a life after death one can be sure that the only possession we could bring are the memories of our cherished moments of that split second we roamed the earth.