Are you experienced?
November 2, 2011, 9:18 pm
Filed under: insight, voyageur

A friend posted this and got me thinking.

As much as this stop was about money it was about restlessness and curiousity. About another birthday and the sense of time passing. The sense that “it will not always be about” me.

This trip I am struck by how travel has changed for me. There are a number of reasons:being in love, having had real brushes with my own adulthood and the adulthood of my friends, being a seasoned hauler of luggage.

There are times I feel like the crazy friend, the one people talk about in quiet voices over weekly drinks I miss every week. I wonder if my friends from college would judge my choice to share a glorified motel room with a stranger instead of saving for something with a view on the right side of town.  The decisions I make now may mean I never get to the right side of town.

As the fear that makes solo travel so adrenaline filled fades with experience, stumbling across that great moment feels different. I had one today, hiking over a hill to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen  – it was hovering near thirty, I threw my bag in the shade and bolted for the water. I felt light, invinceable, and was struck by the urge to try to capture something so fluid. Yet at the end of the day it is harder now to just let that feeling ride out and avoid trying to shelve the memory somewhere in a loose category called Great Beach Days and hope it sticks.

I guess travel has given me culture, although that idea itself is the kind of pretension being at this a while makes you wary of. It’s probably better to say it has exposed me to more ideas and allowed me to question my own culture.

I still can’t say if travel is for everyone.  It is stressful, a distraction from many worthwhile pursuits, and often selfish. It can be just another way to waste time. Many personalities aren’t all that suited to it.

Yet as the sun comes up and I head out to check the sea, I know that every aspect of my life has been, and probably will be, shaped by these shifting horizons.  And my life, if I may say, is pretty lovely.


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