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Born To Go


INDIA | Thursday, 1 May 2014 | Views [525] | Comments [1] | Scholarship Entry

Travel can be a cruel mistress. No sooner than captivating our heart does she leave us lonesome and unsatisfied with only fleeting memories of a brief, yet profoundly sobering tryst. On a warm day in March, I understood with perfect clarity why people continually race back to her tender embrace.
I had just received my B.A. from a small liberal arts school in Los Angeles. LA is a melting pot of cultural diversity; a city unlike any other. However, my time there was spent feigning interest in lecture halls and daydreaming of a life less ordinary. A life spent wandering the Earth in search of breathtaking views, rich culture, beautiful people, and good scotch. The irony of living in LA was being surrounded by people desperately trying to stand out, all the while wanting to simply fade away. After getting my first (soul-crushing) job, I began saving money until I could afford a one-way ticket to a place as different from home as I could imagine...India. It was there on a desolate beach in the western state of Goa, talking to a young woman, that I fell in love. Not with her, or the white sand beaches littered with remnants of the counter-culture, but I was in love with the journey in its entirety. From the sleazy proprietor of a Mumbai bar advertising single servings of "female companionship", to the 16 hour train ride spent in the lavatory with a Polish coed and a bottle of Johnny Walker so as to avoid sharing a bed with 3 hippies who didn't see the need for shoes (or soap) on a 9 month pseudo-spiritual journey. I loved it all.
All fires begin with a spark, and my soul's burning wanderlust was set ablaze by little more than a chance encounter with a local merchant on a secluded Goan beach. A once hazy dream had become crystal clear. As we sat with the waves washing gently over our feet and my bed hidden away in a nearby treehouse fit for the Swiss Family Robinson, we reminisced over childhood memories. We shared our dreams as well as our fears. Without reservation we plunged into the depths of each other's soul, if only for a short time. I finally had an answer for my elementary school teachers. What do you want to do when you grow up? I want to see the world. I want to travel everywhere, experience all I can, and explore the nature of human existence. By day's end I felt a deep connection to this young woman. As if we were somehow inextricably bound together in eternity. For me, life starts and stops with these experiences. Everything else is just waiting.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip



Nicely put. Love your turn of phrase!
Embrace the journeys ahead and travel safe.

  thebluegnu May 13, 2014 3:10 AM

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