“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.
– Jack Kerouac
There have been many odes composed to praise the beauty and transformation of travel, so I will try not to be too repetitive in my attempt to communicate how much travel has changed my life.
From the time I was a sophomore in college and decided to study abroad in Italy, to taking a six week trip traveling around India to study its many religions, travel has always been a way for me to gain knowledge of both the world and myself.
I learned how much I love to travel by myself. How easily conversations get struck up with strangers when you are flying solo, how invitations happen that would never otherwise occur. How practicing a language you are learning becomes so much easier when you have no English-speaking friends to fall back on.
Traveling for me is a bit like drinking coffee: it spikes up my energy and adrenaline, making me giddy, excited, restless. That only lasts for a bit, of course, as we all know that traveling for long periods of time can come with its own type of exhaustion.
But the sweet spot of travel, that honeymoon phase, that sweet spot, is where my creative energy makes me want to get up at sunrise while I am in Paris and go shoot at the Louvre, despite the dark and the chilly October air around me.
Watching the sun come up over the glass pyramids, capturing that seemingly otherworldly light are the moments I will remember when I am eighty. Those are the moments that make my life full of meaning.
All of this is to just say one word: go. Get out of your city, state, country, out of your comfort zone and out of the familiar. Explore on your own, allow yourself to be uncomfortable, to be challenged. Take the journey to explore, to traverse new paths, to truly live.