“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” G.K. Chesterton
A recent article I read in a traveling blog about a trip of an American young man, who traveled from Japan to Nigeria, highlighting how radically different were both destinations and how risky was his trip to Lagos.
An expansion. The constant feeling of an expanding mind is what I kept feeling from the age of 18 when I left home and living with my parents. At first, I didn’t really understand what was it that was happening to me. It felt similar to finding an answer to a question you wondered about for a long time. It felt as I was reading every day a new page of the book of life, which is a special treasure that not everybody finds but only those who are courageous enough to come outside of their comfort zone and not run back to safety.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller
I grew up in a small city, where not much was happening. A small amount of population, same roads, same people who grow up together and mostly end up marrying each other. In places like that, as a rule, the mindset is quite close, there are many rules and a lot of talking, what creates many fears. As well, there is a lot of comfort and many safe zones, what makes it scarier for most people to make a move.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust
Did I fit it? I believe that I have always had an ability to adjust quite quickly and easily, and never complain. Only with the years after living in different countries, I learned to distinguish between the feeling of adjusting and being happy and the feeling of truly belonging and being happy.
We moved to Israel from Russia when I was 6 years old, and that was adjustment number one. It was hard at first, but I learned the language and lived quietly. At the age of 18, from a small city, I moved to Moscow. That is when the expansion started. For the first years, it was overwhelming me daily, it was as if my mind was growing wider and wider in the understanding of the world. After five years in Moscow, I intuitively kept moving from country to country without even knowing where I was going, I just knew I can’t stop, until I found home and then I found myself and peace.
“Travel far enough, you will meet yourself.” David Mitchell
One of the main things that I have learned is how many limitations we impose on ourselves, which derives out of nothing but fear. Us, the people, we judge out of ignorance, we set frames and limitations out of lack of knowledge. We choose without asking for options. We decide without thinking, we follow without stopping to ask. We live without wondering.
The best thing that I have done in my life is traveling. I compare life to a book. Living in one place, inside of the rules of one culture and sometimes one religion is reading only one page of the book. It not only limits our mind but also takes away from us the ability to ever live to the fullest of our potential. The more we learn and see, we unlock new levels of self-awareness what completely changes our views on life, cultures, religions, spirituality, politics, fears, frames and most importantly – on ourselves.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Gustave Flaubert