On my eve of departure to return home, I have some thoughts.
Traveling can be brutal on the psyche. It puts us off balance. It forces us to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. The things that are familiar to us while traveling are sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky, the mountains, nature in all its glory. I take comfort in that. I also take comfort in the fact that I am traveling in a home. Everything in my motorhome reminds me of home. No matter where I've stayed I have always felt that once I entered my coach I was in my home away from home and felt at ease.
I believe that travel is more than just seeing sights. It brings a change in us that will go on. A deep and permanent change in the way we think of living. In a way, travel opens our eyes to new ideas of how to live life. Our world is filled with beauty, charm and wonder. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
I look at adventure as a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces me to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way I imagined it.
Sometimes on this path I collide with the world and discover things that are not pleasant. For instance, when I have to deal with the discovery of limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that I also am capable of both. This can change a person.
In my mind, the greatest reward of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time. Traveling in a state of wonder is where almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted. A sunrise or a sunset is seen as if for the first time.
Another thing I like about traveling and meeting new people is that when you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road. Just the wonder and curiosity of Now.
Once I have traveled, whether long distances or just within my state, the voyage never ends. It is played out over and over again in the chambers of my mind. The mind can never break off from the journey. And if my mind is not able to recall as it once did, I have my cherished photographs.
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