12 January 2010

wanderlust and wonder.

"We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world… And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more."

-Pico Iyer


I am yearning to travel again, to pack the lightest suitcase in my closet and buy a plane ticket... there is so much that I love about traveling, particularly traveling alone, and not just about going to new (or well-loved) places, but about the actual process of transportation. To the surprise of many I adore airports: there so many lives converge in a singular moment in time, arriving from cities across the globe and then dispersing, on to the next adventure or business venture. The man in the seat beside me on the airplane may be returning to his hometown for the first time in years; the girl sitting across the aisle may be crossing the ocean for the first time in her life. So many different stories, emotions, desires, possibilities.

When I travel, I feel a great sense of freedom, as if I can inhabit any one of myriad states of consciousness. I can be whoever I decide to be. In this day and age, we cannot travel under an alias, and yet we can adopt a certain persona when we travel. We are surrounded by strangers, and all is unfamiliar. Gone are the bonds that remind us of who we, and others, think we must be. Travel is revivifying, exhilarating, liberating. I will admit it: at times, when boarding a Virgin Atlantic flight, I have adopted a British accent; on an Alitalia flight, I speak to the flight attendants in Italian. And what a thrill! I long to experience this again, and soon!

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