it makes me feel alive, like all senses are awake, alert, active. i need to always listen, look, smell, hear and feel my way in each moment when i am on the road.
if i am in the same place for a long time, i get to know its smells, sounds and rules, and i don't have to use my senses anymore. i know which bus takes me from A to B and i know what to do if i am lost- i know what the sound in the middle of the night is and i know where to find my food for the day.
but when i am in a new place, i feel so alive. i feel full of joy, precisely because i am using all my senses, which makes me feel as if i am using my full capacity.
i love to travel to strange places; the stranger, the better. the more "out of place" i seem, the more "at home" i feel- because of the use of all my senses, all of them, at once. life reduces itself to a very basic form; the moment. i need to, in each moment, stay awake so as to not get run over by a rickshaw in asia, or i need to understand the dangers of walking alone at night in a south african city. i need to use my common sense regarding eating street-food (which i lo-o-ove) and i must understand intuitively who to trust and who to, as quickly as possible, get away from.
how exciting life is when on the road! everything is possible. i can meet anyone, someone who might change my life, someone who might give me an idea of where to go, or a book to read.
new smells, new tastes, new vistas...
i never had a choice but to travel.
however, i didn't always know i would become a traveller, but as soon as i finished high school i took off, and one thing led to another...actually, that's not at all how it happened.
my boyfriend at the time, Georges form Canada, who i met while we were both living in Alicante, Spain, gave me the book; "the Beach" by Alex Garland. reading that book was like opening a whole new world to me- a world of exciting travelling dreams, which to this day, keep opening up new experience worlds inside of me.
and as a matter of fact, i don't have to the choice anymore to NOT travel. it has become such an integral part of who i am, that it is as essential to me as a home or a car is to others. to me, a car and a home is not very important- i don't feel i need it in my life- but travelling, yes.
if i do the same thing for too long, or stay in the same place for more than two months, the "northern wind" as i call it, starts to blow inside me, and images of faraway places start to flash around in my mind. i feel the restlessness inside me, and it tells me to get going, stop this routine that rapidly kills my spirit, and get going, get out there, and allow my senses to breathe some new life and experiences. In short; i feel alive when i am travelling.
so since i started travelling, it has become more who i am, than what i do. i feel alive, it gives me life-energy. people ask me sometimes if i don't want a home and a "steady" lifestyle, but i can clearly say now, having passed the "grown-up"-limit of 30 (and some)- that this is me, this is my life, this is what makes me feel integrated in life. and in fact- i no longer have a choice. should i get a steady job and buy a property; get insurances and mortgages which would tie me into a certain routine, i would feel more dead than alive. if my life was the same each day- and if i KNEW this was "it"- i would slowly fade away, rot, and die inside my self-created prison.