Traveling is always so surreal to me. I never truly realize where I’ve been or what I’ve seen until after I’ve already witnessed it. I’m not sure why I always feel like that, but it’s the only way my brain can process the fact that I am seeing something new for the first time, and I romanticize every moment of it.
It’s even more strange because everyone always says that when you travel, the world becomes smaller and more familiar. But I beg to differ. I have been extremely fortunate to see so many parts of the world, especially in North America and Europe, and I feel like the world is always expanding. No matter where I go, I know that there’s always more to experience. I have yet to have a moment where I think that the world has gotten smaller. Sure, people say, “oh wow, small world,” when they see or hear about someone they know from a complete stranger, but that’s all relative.
The Earth is so vast and it has stored so much history on it’s surface, I find it hard to wrap my head around most days. Rivers and mountains and islands and forests that once were, are no longer there. And don’t even get me started on the human race. For being on the planet for such a short amount of time, we have conquered so much, literally and figuratively. Even though we haven’t existed nearly as long as when the Earth was created, we have had such a rich history and culture that we continue to shape and mold every day. Every time I travel somewhere new, whether it’s the next town over, or a new state or country, I am constantly amazed at how close one thing can be to another but completely contrast it. I’ve learned many lessons in such a short amount of time and it has opened my eyes to many beautiful and ugly things I never thought in a million years that I would get the chance to witness. I’ve seen lux, and I’ve seen poverty. I’ve seen real, and I’ve seen faux. I’ve seen people fit the stereotype, and I’ve seen people break the stereotype. And I have learned something from each.
The only thing certain in life is the uncertainty that it brings. One day something or someone is here, the next, it’s gone. I guess traveling overall has taught me to embrace the moment I’m in, with the people I’m with. Everything these days seems to be going so fast, especially thanks to technological advancements and social media. But have you taken a moment for yourself today to slow down? Do you realize where you are, or are you constantly thinking ahead all the time?
Have you taken the time to thank the people around you that have helped you to get to where you are, and acknowledged those that are helping you get to where you’re going next?
If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to. Life is so beautiful and too short to be living in the comfort your own bubble all the time. Go out and see the world, even if you have to start small. One patch of grass will soon become a field, but you won’t know until you take the first step. Like someone once said, “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” And if you ever have any doubts, just know that you deserve to see the world, and the world deserves to see you.