I remember the first time I went to the movies. I was around 6 or 7 and the movie was The Lion King. It makes me cry up to this day, so imagine how devastated I got that time seeing Simba all lost in the middle of that stampede in the biggest screen I had ever seen. I got home shaken, looked my mom in the eye and said:
Mom, now I know what true emotion is.
This was my first – and cutest – insight. That day I found out what emotion was, but I had no idea this subject would come back and surprise me over and over.
So, thinking about emotions, I’ve been asking myself lately: What makes traveling so special?
I sincerely do not think there is a right answer to that question, but with each travel I try and figure out something else about it.
I sometimes think it’s all about the places. You get into a new place and get the chance to think about all the history that happened there and this amazes me. I sometimes don’t even realize it until I literally stop, look around and finally understand where I’m standing. I find myself sometimes in a famous square where revolutionary men were sentenced to death. Or in the mountains where the ancient Inca Indians took refuge during the Spanish invasion. Or on top of this huge iron monument built in 1889.
Other times I guess it’s all about the flavours. I know we live in a world which is almost barrier-free when we talk about knowledge and it’s possible to eat Indian food in New York City or an amazing pad thai in São Paulo. But nothing beats the superb experience which is drinking a glass of Chilean wine staring the Andes Mountains. Or eating a delicious bruschetta loaded with the best olive oil ever in front of Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore in Florence.
Just mentioning it made me hungry! And I remember the exact happiness I felt those moments.
And finally, I sometimes think it is related to the people. The city’s rhythm – its soul – has everything to do with how its people behave. I’m talking about the little things, you know? Like if people usually walk fast on the streets, always in a rush and trying to get somewhere as fast as they can. Or if they enjoy a little siesta after lunch. If they try even making mimic so you can understand what there’re saying. If they get all happy and proud for you choosing to visit their country, or maybe if they just act like you should keep it to yourself and learn better the language.
While I didn’t get to a final answer I did realize that all those things have one intersection point: they all bring me some kind of emotion.
For me, what makes traveling so special are all those emotions we get to feel. And how they change us. Each place we go we feel a different emotion and something moves inside of us, and we’re never the same again. And as this new person – just a bit different from who we were moments before – we live things in a different way. We experience the places, the flavours and the people… just a bit different. And during this brand new moments we get in touch with our inner self.
Traveling is very special because we get to know ourselves. I have the phrase “know thyself” marked on my skin in order to never forget about this. So I can remember to always keep searching new emotions. And never stop looking.
And why do you think traveling is so special?