>> Wednesday, June 14, 2017

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” - Anthony Bourdain

As I close out my 5th annual solo adventure, I reflect and find myself echoing the words of a fellow travel enthusiast.
Each trip I've taken, has been almost entirely unique in nature from the rest.  They all take place in a different city, and at a different point in time of my life.  I board different aircrafts/buses/trains, explore different streets, experience different cultures, and meet different people.  
But as different as they are in nature, they are also quite similar in essence.  They all have had their peaks and valleys, been both incredible and imperfect, and both breathtaking and heartbreaking.  I also embark on each trip with the same anxieties each time; fearful of what could happen, what I'll discover, and most terrifyingly, the idea of loneliness.  But the beauty that comes with traveling alone is that I am taking in each experience completely bare and vulnerable, thoroughly present and open to both myself and what is around me.  And each time, I return home to the same place having overcome these fears to discover, the only way out is through. And, my goodness, what a gift it is to be alive in this space, in this time, and with these people.
Although every person I have met on my travels has been completely different (from different places and living at different points in their time), at our core, we all seem to be searching for the same things; to connect with some thing, some place, some one, and in turn, to connect with our selves.  

The human condition can seem so complex, but what I've come to realize after this trip, is it really is quite simple in many ways. I think we are all on this journey, uniquely different but in essence the same, navigating it in our own ways.  I am so incredibly grateful to have had all the experiences I have had in my short time here, and am left with the hope that I have made a mark on someone else's journey, as you have all made in mine.  Until next time, I'll be dreaming of getting lost…to find my way home again.  


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