Sometimes in life a distant call is not enough, neither is a forced way of pretending, when acting cool has given place to an uncomfortable play. Going on a holiday clears the mind and reduces the drama to an easy solution: stop the performance. And once you are not bound by obligations, not facing hours in which you try to cheer yourself up, reluctantly, the world seems a wonderful place that needs to be discovered. For now I will assume it a unique thing, a play becoming a failed rehearsal, for a pretty strong feeling tells me the world has more to offer, and perhaps someday it fits me like a silk dress.
Discovering the world requires a couple of things. First, you need to like travelling, and more important, you have to gain experience by visiting different places, alone or accompanied, with friends, family or by yourself. Study weather, cloud patterns, wind direction, how to read maps, but also local habits. This brings me to the second point: the art of language. Independently of the part of the world you visit, English, Spanish and German are well understood. Add Russian and Chinese and you are probably ready to visit 90% of the globe (if you would like to communicate, otherwise you will only need English…). Third, last but not least: education. Once you intend to discover the world, the whole world and nothing less, you will need a reason to keep on discovering, despite you are not on a holiday. Therefore, there are two words you need to remember: ‘research’ and ‘conference’. Except for people who are really good with music, painting, writing, etc, you have to lead yourself to the top of your expertise. I prefer environmental and/or anthropological sciences, but from my point of view a nanny or nurse could travel the world too, considering point one (studying local habits) and point two (the art of language).
Curious about everything, longing for the unknown to become familiar, drinking, adopting and adapting new culture, seeing landscapes that do not match anything seen before… It all has a start, a reference point from which the feeling grows, develops, become more specific. Eventually one’s knowledge and wisdom are sufficient enough to cross the line: one just knows what to do with his or her life and goes for it. This ending of the process of development does not come for everyone on the same time and later in life new reference points will pass by.
Today, August 19th 2009, my own journey around the world, started somewhere in childhood with an unbreakable interest in nature and “indigenous” cultures, has made a huge progress. Not only did I gain experience in travelling and the art of language, I also defined more accurately how to discover the world. And today, although I still have to start with the major part of “what to do with my life”, it fits me.
As usual with places you go to frequently, or stay at for a long time, once you return it feels like you have never left, and all memories of other places become flat remnants of dreams rather than vivid images… Photographs recall a part of that joyeux feeling, but your own mind is willing to forget. On the other hand, returning to a place you’ve only stayed at shortly, can release an unexpected flash of happiness.
Since discovering the world preferably occurs in a safe way, I travelled all the way up to the place that keeps calling me and, as a student, is easy to reach as I do not have to pay for public transport *chuckling*. I visited a few places I had been with my family in the past years, but this time all by myself. Escaping my regular life for just one day, hopefully bringing back vivid images of pleasant holidays. Besides the fact I promised myself to do this a long time ago, it also suits to deny two things in life I would like to shift out, but I cannot get rid of at the moment. Both things are necessary, obliged and being there in the near future as solid parts of my life. I cannot move them aside.
Like with many things I do not want to happen, or happen again, I try to think positively, in search of advantages, even making comparisons with my own or other people’s stories. Playing myself safe, or more precisely; comforting my worrying mind: you need the money, you won’t fail again, it is easy work to do, there is nothing wrong with doing things wrong, or over and over again, asking questions, feeling like an ant without any sense of instinct, lost between rules and restrictions…
The first point of how to discover the world contains an item I can impossibly practise today: studying c loud patterns. It is one, play, blue sky above me. One could strive for a life without clouds, but, oh, the shadows are a welcome place to hide from the hot sun. Like always this day did not become as spectacular as I thought, though French people asking me in English whether I knew where to find the “Mississippiboot” (big road, then left) added an extra boost to “travelling by myself”.
Going back home… How sad I felt on the way back from Great-Britain, knowing that all the vivid images would reduce to nothing more than photographs. The only reason I did not feel so much reluctance to return home from Rome, was that I longed for a place where I did not have to keep a very close eye on my possessions, and did not have to worry where my next meal would come from…
Anyway, I remember well last year, the start of my first year at the university. Now is the time of freshman going on camps, meeting people from all over the country, drinking (too much) beer, doing crazy games, laughing all night long. I am not a freshman anymore, and it feels good, to feel more experiences, advanced, to have nice friends and to know I have made a good decision. Somehow I have to get through those two things I do not want to face, but hey, countless awesome things lie ahead too. Not facing what I do not like will crate a lack of experience, for this so badly needed experience will also be a way to enhance my knowledge and wisdom.
The end of the day approaches. Transparent, tiny white cloudy stripes begin to cover the blue sky above and the horizon tends to a reddish grey. In an odd way, different than expected, being there in the south did change something. You have just read the start of it.