“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
– Christopher McCandless
Before I left, I was talking to a close friend and fellow traveler about how there can be a misconception that people travel because they are searching for something. This may have been the case for myself at one time, but now I would have to disagree. Searching implies that I am looking for something that is lost or missing. In other words, there is something outside of myself that I must travel to in order to feel whole or complete.
I view it more like a beautiful and often challenging process/experience of questioning, seeking and exploring. Perhaps a much more apt and whimsical term is wanderlust, meaning a strong innate impulse or desire to travel the world. Most of you probably know that I haven’t always loved Denver…at the beginning it was far from it. It has taken four years and several travel hiatuses for me to fall in love with the Mile High City. But after this year, I have learned that it not necessary to travel to far away lands to be a seeker. This time around, I was able to depart with the utmost gratitude for the city, my experience, and all my amazing friends and family who contributed in ways I can only begin to explain.
Personally, I thrive and look forward to experiencing the sensory adventure (external) just as much as the emotional and spiritual (internal) journey. No safari, picturesque lake or hidden village will ever completely alter my internal landscape, for better or worse. I travel to revel in the beauty of the world, find compassion for the ugly and the brutal and connect with human-kind until our conversations are no longer based on race, gender, socio-economic status or upbringing. What is left is connection in its freest form, stemmed from understanding and love.
On a much more simple level, I love the first breath in a new land after a long plane ride. The sleepiness of the trip dissipates and you are immediately brought to the present moment; a pleasant uncertainty emerges…a new adventure awaits. This is followed by taking rides around foreign congested cities, which over the years I have taken a liking to. There is something about the hustle and bustle, the raw flow of a city (today it was Kampala, Uganda) that I can appreciate. And finally the first bite of a strange and sweet morsel, a new challange for the palate (I am still eating my way through the world in an attempt to find something I don’t like).
People have told me how lucky I am, and while I absolutely agree, I have also worked very hard to get here. I figure you might as well let your passion (whether it be traveling, cooking, art, writing or even underwater basket weaving) be the catalyst for all great things to enter your life. My goal is to set foot in 30 countries by the time I turn 30 and at some point, spend time in all 7 continents. Uganda is my 20th county and Africa is my 6th continent visited, so relatively speaking I am not too far off from my goal. But as any traveler will tell you, the journey is just as good as the destination.
Tomorrow I leave the city for Bujagali Falls and my home for the next 6 1/2 months. I can already feel that it might be the warmest welcome I have ever received.
G’nite…Much Light and Love!
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust