Every time I re-watch my travel highlight reels on Instagram or look through old photos, I am transported back to how I feel when I’m travelling. It’s a feeling I can’t necessarily put into concise words but watching those snippets back made me realise how much travel has influenced who I have become and what I am currently longing for:
To move, to change things up, to feel so far out of my comfort zone and to experience things for the first time…
To sit back on a rocky outcrop by the seaside and to take it all in – the sky, the way the sun hits your skin just a little bit differently there, the architecture and all of the colours and detail of the buildings around you, the people and how they interact with each other and yourself, the vespas whizzing and the noisy pickup trucks and the bicycles being leisurely ridden by, the history that was made there, the fisherman’s morning catch hung up to dry on the beach, the taste of the gelato as you keep it from dripping down your fingers, the morning cup of tea that you sip in your hostel kitchen before you head off for a day of exploring.
The way walking down a street feels in a place you’ve never been before and how you feel the next day once you’ve somewhat discovered your bearings. The way you can wander down streets and alleyways with no map or route planned out or end destination in mind but just to see what you may stumble upon. The way that even the simplest of things like buying supplies at a supermarket or a ticket for local transport are somewhat of an adventure. The feeling when you head down to the lobby to meet the people on your group tour for the first time, the moments you share and the time when it inevitably comes to say goodbye.
The times where you experience one-in-a-lifetime moments like ballooning over Cappadocia as the sun rises, and how those moments are even more incredible than you’d imagined. The times you are physically challenged from an unbelievable hike to the Monastery in Petra or a taxing journey getting from one destination to another. The hundreds upon thousands of pictures you take along the way and the stories from each place you now have up your sleeve to tell.
The moments and the places that you know will change the way you view the world from that moment onwards. The experiences and sights that check you back into reality with the realisation of your privilege and an appreciation for the circumstances you currently have and we’re born into. The stories shared by locals about events that have occurred there in the past or hardships they currently face. The insider knowledge that locals share about their homes – where to find the best pizza or the best goulash and a few extra places that would have otherwise gone unseen. The connections you make along the way, the ones that are momentary and the ones that last for years to come.
The time you travelled for the first time – the plane journey, the destination airport and the drive from the airport to your accommodation and all the anticipation and excitement along the way. The time you travelled solo for the first time and simultaneously just how terrified and liberated you felt. The times where not everything went to plan. The times when you were truly pushed to the limit and the moments when you realise just how capable you are.