What are you made of

When I created this blog, I intended to update it regularly and to post about my long holiday abroad. That didn’t happen because life is messy. I also enjoy reading other peoples’ blogs so spend time doing that instead of creating my own content.

So on September 1 of this year, I loaded up my Osprey backpack and flew to Germany. I was there for about 10 days and didn’t want to leave. I wanted to wash my clothes but didn’t want to come home to my cubicle. I missed my cat and wished that I had been able to share some of the experience with friends/family. Being alone in a country where I barely spoke the language (yes, most people speak English, but it isn’t the same) for almost two weeks was like jumping into the deep end of a really cold pool. It’s uncomfortable at first, but then you move around and swim some strokes and you’re okay. The minute you stop moving you realize you’re cold and you have to move again. That’s what this travel was like. If I stopped and looked around, I realized I needed more movement. I missed my cat, Sunday brunch with my mother, and texting rude photos to my sisters.

Travel is not about finding yourself. Travel is about peeling off a layer of comfort and finding what you’re made of. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your real self comes out and there’s no exterior mask that you can spend the energy to use to shield yourself.

It’s incredibly gratifying to be so vulnerable and raw and present.

Travel is about being present and learning. You wash away stereotypes that you’ve had about yourself (or others) and I think your heart grows another size larger (like The Grinch).

If more people traveled and saw people and cultures and places they had not been around before, it would be a more harmonious and less violent planet. Differences are beautiful and we should embrace them.

Having to pull myself back from a full meltdown in the DB office in Berlin so that I could use my broken German to speak to the woman who was setting up my rail pass… That was difficult. I think I need a medal for that. Seriously. Everyone there speaks better English than people in America and they’re tri or quadrilingual.

I’ve caught the travel bug. It’s why I was so reluctant to travel in the first place. I wanted to travel but was terrified of the enormous emotional void I would come back to when I returned home.

It was surreal to return. It felt less real than the ten days I was abroad. I can’t wait for more travel.

Next for me is Iceland in Autumn 2016, and then 2017 will be even more epic.

Peace love and plants

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