When you’re a traveler, you’ll always be in constant motion – never really getting the time to settle down. It’s not a vacation. You don’t get to check into a resort for a week or so, waking up every day to the same environment, people, food, drinks and culture while you’re there. Instead, it’s not that easy.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll be pushed forward by a strong current you can’t resist. There’s always a new city, a new hotel, a new airport to pass through. New people, new food, new languages, new cultures. You’ll always be walking through unfamiliar territory, unaware of whether you will be regarded as a tourist, a predator, a target, a fish out of water or a friend.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll make countless mistakes. You’ll learn from them. You’ll forget what you’ve learned. You’ll somehow end up making those same mistakes again. You’ll try to budget your time and money, but they always somehow seem to escape your grasp. You’ll need a map and a guidebook. You’ll get lost in a strange place. You’ll be terrified, confused and alone.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll start to miss home. You’ll try to recreate certain recipes that remind you of your mother. You’ll look forward to phone calls and letters and e-mails and photos from your family, friends and loved ones. You’ll question what color eyes your best friend has. You’ll struggle to remember what your family’s voices sounded like.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll reach rock bottom. You’ll cry in taxis and buses and planes and trains and in unfamiliar beds and in the middle of the street. You’ll listen to sad music. You’ll break things – intentionally and unintentionally. You’ll get upset. You’ll hate things, or people, or places, or everything. You’ll want to give up.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll force yourself to make due with the bare minimum. You’ll enjoy brisk walks by yourself. You’ll throw away the map and guidebook and ask the locals for advice instead. You’ll value communication over anything. You’ll get excited when someone finally understands you. You’ll get even more excited when you can finally understand someone else.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll open yourself up to new experiences. You’ll start listening to new music, eating new food and reading new literature. You’ll take lots of pictures and films. You’ll send handwritten letters home to your family. You’ll catch yourself smiling for no reason.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll lose yourself in a city you really click with. Granted, it won’t happen right away. But as you turn the same street corner you’ve walked upon time and time again, as you greet a friendly face in their own language, as you help a tourist find their way in this unfamiliar city you now know like the back of your hand, you’ll eventually find a piece yourself you never knew was missing.
When you’re a traveler, you’ll finally be whole.