TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE
What Travel Has Meant For Me
I was born with an insatiable curiosity about the world and the people who live in it. Fortunately I found ways to travel to a great many far-away places during my life. Most often people were much poorer than most people in my own country. Almost always they treated me with dignity and respect and appreciation that I had come a long way to visit their homeland. When I returned home it was always with a renewed conviction that I’m living in the best country in the world.
In India in 1973 I asked our driver for the day to please stop the car on the side of the rough, 2-lane road so my son and I could watch a wedding taking place in the open yard of a modest dwelling. The costumes were colorful and music played by four or five unusual instruments, was loud. People were smiling and laughing as they danced all around on bare dirt . We had just come from Agra where we’d gone to see the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful memorials in the world. As we continued our drive to New Delhi I pondered what I’d just witnessed: a wedding taking place in a venue that couldn’t have been more modest. Even so, the love and joy and reverence for promises being made were identical to a wedding at home. Once again I confirmed what I had already learned in other places: The people who inhabit this planet called Earth, are all amazingly similar. We all share strong emotional feelings and most of us construct our lives in similar patterns.
My travels taught me to be less judgmental and less demanding in what I believe I need in my own life. I have become more relaxed and able to live more in the moment. When traveling I’m totally able to leave any troubles in my life at home. I’ll take care of them when I return. Traveling gives me a feeling of total freedom to live my own life. I am in charge of my destiny.
I recently published a memoir of my travels interwoven with the story of my life. As Anis Nin wrote, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.”
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