"To travel is to take a journey into yourself." -Danny Kaye
The first time I really remember traveling to another culture was when my parents took me to Guanajuato, Mexico in eighth grade. I was pimply faced and had teeth infested with braces. I was scared out of my mind of those typical uncertainties that come with traveling to another culture. I knew zero spanish. And I loved every second of that trip... except the Montezuma's revenge every night after dinner. I loved how challenging it was. How stereotypes I had known were crushed. How introspective it forced me to be.
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -St. Augustine
Whether I'm taking in rainbows laid across the Himalayas or riding my bike through a busy city, traveling makes me think bigger and breathe deeper. It give me gratitude and desire for a life lived outside my comfort zone. It erases the word "stagnant" from my routine. I've been to Mexico, Brazil, Nepal, Amsterdam, and now, Canada. And I can't wait to keep going. Experiencing. Feeling. Learning. Knowing. Empathizing. Unlearning my culture and embracing the joys of someone else's.
"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." -Maya Angelou
One of my favorite memories of our trip to Canada this summer was the day we ventured by ferry to an island not far from the city. We rented bikes and wheeled from one side of the island to the other... except the nude beach part. You can't just go to a nude beach with your parents when you're on vacation together. That's just not a thing. As we rode our bikes past a lighthouse with a red door, dark clouds rode in so quickly and slowly it began to pour. We gathered with a bunch of other strangers under someone's patio and watched quietly and peacefully as it rained and billows of steam rose off the hot cement roads. Something so small and unforgettable.
We live in a century where travel is so available, acceptable, and common. So Go. Save every penny for that plane ticket. Maybe wait to buy that couch you've been wanting and go sit on someone else's far far away. Save eating out for when you backpack through South America. But definitely spend money on a good pair of chacos for the journey.
To travel.... that's a stine way.