Why I Had to Go

travel map


It’s the second time I’m traveling solo, first time being in the fall of 2012 when enchanted by a magazine article about Budapest, I boarded the train from Poland to half a day later savor the most delicious feeling of realizing a dream. And I tell you, once you do it, it can be hard to stop. Over the last year and a half, I’d catch my information-saturated mind often glide along the memories from the time I was walking along the Chain Bridge with a smile that threatened to split my cheeks in half. I wanted to feel that girl again, to collect the treasures that lied along the path that only being out of your element can bring forth. And the gifts keep on pouring for days, months, years to come.

This is how I learn the fastest, this is how I “fish” for images that inspire my stories, a term I learned from my mentor Julia Cameron; this is how I take this gift of life in gulps. Travel is such a visceral kind of learning. It goes beyond a lecture, a chapter, a telling. It is instant. Traversing a thus far unfamiliar territory infuses cells with an essence that nests itself in between the elements of the known igniting a change, fueling a desire to look at things differently so that, and I’m paraphrasing Dr. Wayne Dyer here, they may change.


But there is a bigger picture here. I believe people should travel for the benefit of others as well, as Elizabeth Gilbert put it, “To model another way of being. To represent, out there in the wild world. To bring back the treasure of sharing what we have learned.” After we return, there is this aura of freshness, a new sort of perspective that others can detect, an openness a softening, a suspension of judgement.

As I walked down Las Ramblas with my mom and best friend (she is joining me on the Spanish leg of the journey, from which I will proceed alone towards Greece), crowds of people swarming around, bumping into each other, exchanging impetuous glances, she put words on a simple and yet profound phenomenon. “As many people are here,” she said, “there are as many stories as complex as our own.” And may I add, most of them too often too scarcely shared, disappearing after a few generations of time.

So if you feel moved to embark on a voyage, I’d say go for it! Do it for the benefit of yourself, your wider circle, the entire world. You may not need to even board a plane. Perhaps a new adventure is lurking around the corner. Take a new path today. And please, share your story.


Photo credit: euphoric inc


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