Isn’t it funny when you do one thing for so long, change your routine completely and learn to adapt your wants and needs- just as human nature intended, ignorant of nurture but solitarily relying upon nature itself when we adapt to our surroundings and having all the power to change whatever we deem necessary. As a traveller we adapt to not needing certain things.
Moving from one place to another and learning about different cultures and all the while having nothing more than what fits on your backpack, allows you to appreciate the things we maybe once took for granted: comfort- in beds and in situations, routine- in every day activities and in what we eat. Travelling is about learning new things and experiencing new experiences. You meet people who influence your thoughts and feelings and you adapt to new habits and ways of living, purely by putting yourself out of your comfort zone. But what are we all looking for? When I started travelling I wasn’t looking for anything more specific than anything and everything, but then when the statement was pursed upon me, “Well, maybe you haven’t found what you are looking for…” It made me think…
But maybe I have. Maybe this addiction was exactly what I was looking for.
Back then, the reason I started travelling was to broaden my horizon. I’t’s an odd feeling to have experienced, but in my heart I knew I had never belonged, at least not the way I wished to be. I never felt that I had a place where I could have purpose or most importantly inspiration. It’s unusual for me now to reflect because when I left I knew nothing about the world except that I wanted to find my place within it.
You can be whoever you want to be when you travel. You can live the life you have always wanted to live. You can change your personality and pretend to have lived another life, effortlessly. I only wanted to become myself. And finally after travelling I did. Travelling became my routine. Meeting new people and staying in new places. I learnt a lot about myself. My strength in dealing with difficult situations and my abilities to problem solve. Abilities that were forcefully and simultaneously successfully put into action. I met new people who helped me to develop my personality, one that has been overshadowed my entire life. These people, these places, these experiences helped me to develop myself, and without talking in clichés, they enabled me to find myself: finding out who I truly was on the inside. I learnt to love myself and I was happy in my own skin. I learnt that sometimes we make the right decisions and other times we learn from our mistakes, but the choices we make can never be deemed as bad, if made with good will, because the lessons learnt and the luck earnt are the things that build our individual character and enables us to be different to one another.
Its true when they say that you can’t love anything truly before you can love yourself. The love I found for myself- for my entire being- being comfortable and confident enough within myself to be exactly who I was, allowed me to fall in love with many places, and many people; both romantically and not. I learnt that love is much more than infatuation but also a conjunction of respect and desire. Desire not only sexually but the desire the learn and teach and the desire to just be.
The desire to stay.
I have now learnt and adapted my being so that nothing is really foreign to me. Not much really shocks me and not much can really affect me in a dramatically negative way. I have learnt to appreciate learning because every experience can be learnt from. I am not academic, it still shocks many people that I have never studied in a university and that I don’t have a degree, but instead I choose to learn from the world in which I consume every single day.
But then my heart stopped, figuratively of course, because something was foreign. I couldn’t say what I wanted to say because I had no way of expressing it. I knew not the actions nor the words. So I denied them all and shut them all out. My guard came up stronger than it ever had before and I ran, as fast and as far away as I could. The feelings then followed me everywhere I went and I learnt that these feelings couldn’t be ignored. When I ran they were stronger than ever and when I braced myself to return they never paused, but instead grew stronger. I was terrified but I discovered that the ignorance terrified me more. I was in love with Rio de Janeiro, and I knew that I couldn’t be happy unless I made the choice to call this incredible city my new home.