This is a guest post by Epic Potato blogger Lauren Gaile, whose stories of her solo adventures and misadventures have always roused my admiration and a bit of envy in me for her free spirit and freer way of looking at the world. Visit her site and dive headlong into her narratives; it would be time well spent, I assure you!
Hi, applicant. Would you like to tell me something about yourself?
Zoom in. Fade. Black Out *Insert Eclectic Music Here*
Cut to shots of you walking a crowded street in a new city.
Cut to you swallowing a huge spoonful of that new cuisine.
Cut to that time you did a bungee jump.
Cut to the many impossibly white beaches you’ve set foot on.
And it’s been 5 seconds. Tick-tock, tick-tock. The HR personnel breaks your reverie and says, Applicant?
“Oh, I like to travel.”
I think I have that awkward conversation every single time I meet someone new. Apparently, when I say travel, that simple six-letter word conjures as much choked up emotion as talking about my dear puppy who once ran inside a burning house to save his favorite chew toy toddler.
How the hell do you explain to someone the montage you see running in your head–the one that has splices of you running headfirst into dodgy looking $10-hostels or that arduous 6-hour hike up to that leech infested mountain?
Let’s not forget that one time where you incurred an insurmountable expense because you missed your flight. And you missed your flight because you missed the last bus going to town after a chicken crossed the road and toppled the tricycle you were riding on.
How is that normal? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you that if travel is a crime, baby, I’ll do my time.
Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesyyyyy. And so was the Seaweed Pizza I had last time when I went wakeboarding in Bicol, Philippines two years ago. I still remember it so well because it was a show-stopping adrenaline adventure that was forever etched in my memory vault.
It’s funny how those random thoughts stick to you, mundane as some travel experiences may be, like waiting seven hours in a terminal for your delayed flight. Yet, you still remember it because of how you felt.
Travel really enriches the mind. You’re able to think of things in a faster speed, *currency exchange – logistics – where was my hotel again – how many hours til my camera dies? – and a dozen other things that goes through a traveler’s head* but most importantly, we learn empathy.
For a single magical moment when we hold the hand of a person we just met, when we see how they live, when we try to walk a little bit of what they go through everyday, we feel like we see the world a little bit differently.
And the best part about being a traveler?
It is that you always get to do it all over again.
About the Author:
Lauren is a whimsical neurotic who loves travel and all things associated with it. However, she likes normal people stuff too, like oreo ice cream, geometry, and dainty pastel dresses. She is based in Montreal, Canada and her blog, Pandelicious, is a collation of her mishaps, misadventures, and grammatical errors. She doesn’t always refer to herself in the third person. Follow her in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.