I can’t remember the first time I traveled. All I have left are the faint memories of me on the backseat, rolling the window down and stretching my arm to feel the wind kiss my skin. It was a tradition that I have always looked forward to as a kid- sleeping under the open skies with only the moon and the stars watching me close my eyes.
I wanted to grow up quickly, so I could travel the world. But growing old isn’t what I have expected it to become. I have grown to hate growing up. I used to think as a kid that adulthood is such a cool experience—no curfews, no school works, no financial worries. I had no idea that it was going to be much worse. Responsibilities, workloads, deadlines, schedules that won’t let one have a life and frustrating career paths almost killed my soul. It was then when I found myself frequently looking outside the window, reminiscing those fleeting memories when I was a kid. It had been a repetitive cycle of me tapping my pencil on the edge of my desk while eagerly wanting to escape the four corners of these boring concrete walls. Well, until the idea of traveling saved my soul from the brink of dying.
With traveling, I slowly regained my faith that all will eventually fall into its place. My eyes received a fresh pair to see the beauty in everything. My lungs gasped new air to breathe. My feet explored a new reason to walk the extra mile. And my heart found a new chance to love something that is beyond human.
I am slowly mending my soul with every broken pieces of it that I find in new places I that visit. Slowly, I am able to learn that every piece of it is a unique representation which ties my whole persona together. I travel not only to escape my black and white reality nor to have bragging rights when I return. I do it because I discovered how it changed me. The changes were ultimately drastic that I no longer recognized myself when I looked back.
I travel because my soul belongs to the world. When I committed myself to traveling, I committed my soul to the world—to cherish its beauty, to find its meaning. I would not have been this person if not for traveling. It provided me with a new perspective in life. It made me realize how small of a speck I am in this endless universe. Meeting a lot of people and knowing their stories humbled me in countless ways. They provided me with a new perspective on how I should view life. Seeing the way they live and comparing it to mine made me feel embarrassed for those moments I took life’s generosity for granted.
Traveling made me do things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to conquer. Getting lost in a city, and walking anonymously in a sea of unfamiliar people would have scared me a few years back—but traveling boosted my strength. Now, even if I get lost in a new country, I know that I will be able to find my way back because that’s how I can learn—by getting lost. And that’s where my true journey starts.
Traveling also gave me a sense of purpose—one that’s even bigger than myself. I get to see these breathtaking places, capture them on photos and share it to the world. I love how I can now inspire people to go out there and get to know the stunning world we live in through blogging. And through it, I get to share my stories and know theirs in return. That’s more than anything I could ever ask for.
Traveling taught me to live in the now—to tear down my inhibitions and to just let my guards down. Because when you finally do, you let yourself become a sponge by soaking in every lesson and using it to grow and to become a better version of you. I used to want to be in control of everything but traveling showed me that there is beauty in not being in control. That’s when I learned that when you let life surprise you, you will genuinely know how to be happy.
People always ask me why I travel. The answer is really quite simple, I am in love with the world. I have this unspoken promise to get to know the stories of people I haven’t met yet and navigate through places I haven’t been to. When I travel, I get to be myself which I’m usually afraid to embrace. And when I get home, I find myself feeling incomplete—missing the pieces of me that were left in the places I have been and pieces of me that are still waiting to be discovered.