I just returned from a month and a half backpacking trip (check out my route here!) and I discovered something about myself.
I don't like traveling all that much. Seriously.
It may be surprising for the travel blogger I claim to be, but it is the absolute truth. I view life as trying to do what you enjoy, are interested in, and what gives you satisfaction. Although I love traveling for the cultural aspect, I don't get that much out of it. I need to travel here and there, to free my mind and dive into the fantasy world of real life disconnection, but you'd never get me on a 6 month backpacking trip. Ever.
As I traveled, a slight frustration began to grow. I began to realize I was missing something essential to my inner feeling of happiness. I could not do the simple things I cherish the most.
I stopped reading the news because of the bad internet connections in most underdeveloped countries.
I stopped solving problems, and since you'll only be paid in your life to solve people's problems, that's the straight route to unemployment.
I stopped learning new skills albeit having two books, which were great! But as far as learning goes, I did none.
Most importantly, I didn't feel like I was doing what I like the most. I get more out of living somewhere all week. All month. Let's make it all year, just not "all life"!
I value time, and so much of it is wasted while traveling. Buses, airports or awaiting the unknown.
But above all, I absolutely fondly terribly like discovering and getting to understand people. Not meeting but knowing.
I don't care about where you've been on your last trip and how long your journey will last, nor do I care about where you're going next and what you've heard about it.
I want to know you, inside out.
Traveling offers a glimpse of people. They open themselves up willingly, knowing you're not to be seen again. So they share stories of ex-lovers and broken hearts, family fights and failed weddings, childhood bullying and corner shop thieving.
They spill their guts on the table and share what's heavy on their conscience, just to get rid of it, but you won't get to know the true person.
But I want to. It's all I want.
I want to have breakfast with you, and hear how you order your eggs, and see whether you cut your pancake or rip and shred it, then peak at how you have your coffee, unless it's tea.
I want to know what sports you practice and which ones you have, then we'll go for a run and I'll make you sweat, or maybe not.
I want to share childhood stories with you and see your eyes sparkle with surprise and your eyebrows frown with intrigue, then I expect to do the same.
I want to tell jokes and discover what makes you laugh, and I want to become good at it as making one happy is among the most pleasant feelings.
I want to munch on a bag of Oreo cookies with you and see if you split them and eat the filling first with a smile of delight or eat to eat, because one must live.
I want to hear about your craziest fantasies.
If you were born 800 years ago would you be a mason or a knight?
If you could travel through time just once and come back to what period would you go?
Do you believe in UFOs, afterlife and God?
I want to get pass your armor. I want you to drop your guard and open up to me. Share your grandest ideas and craziest thoughts.
Tell me what business you'd like to create and how you think the world could be a better place.
Tell me something I don't know and teach me something you're an expert in.
Tell me whom you'd vote for at the next elections of your home country and what's it like back there.
Let me see who you are.
Well that might not happen so easily. We all have a guard and in one place more than others we drop it. So I'll take you there. Let's crash a party and drink something tasty.
If you're a girl I want to play and see if you know the rules of the game. I'll step forward only if you'll step back, and I'll step back as soon as you step forward, until one day.
Yes I want to know all about you.
If only traveling allowed me to do all this I'd be the first to pack my bag, but it doesn't. It gives you the chance to discover new cultures and meet tons of new people you'll unfortunately never see again. For some it's a blessing.
So you get to repeat your small talk countless times and can't even remember half of the names of all the people you encounter, but in the end, you're just the same.