traveling

…. and we’re off!

Inspiration hits again. All it takes is a brief moment. The thought flies through. A little light goes on. It gets brighter. The idea. The dream. All other thoughts that match it come and join it. Magnetism. Attraction. Alignment. It’s all yours now. Oh, that well-known feeling! Desired destination detected. The excitement grows until it inundates you. Now you simply have to do it. The yearning for travel is something you have inside; an innate force which urges you to explore more and more of the world. It’s a way of being.

travelingAt one point, this was the time for maps and guide books to come out. Now, it’s on to the internet, looking for flights, timetables, connections, accommodation, airport transfer, sightseeing tours, entrance tickets, online maps and travel videos. Within 72 hours you can have all the information you need: you know where you’re going, what your hotel street looks like and where you need to make a left turn to get to the famous pastry shop – right past the spices shop with the red tent. It’s like you’ve already been there before you’ve even packed your bags.

We tend to travel light these days. Many do so to avoid the extra cost of luggage on the airplane. Others, myself included, just want to make their life easier. The days when I’d travel with three pieces of luggage and a total of 80 kilos are way behind me. The memory of them still gives me a good laugh. I always leave some room for shopping, though. Bringing back a beautiful item, something unique to the place you’re visiting, is like bringing a part of that world into your home. Eventually, your home is like a museum housing a collection of pieces of your travels, parts of your life, each with a special story behind it.

Sometimes it’s fun being the typical tourist, joining others in a guided tour of the city, taking photographs, visiting archaeological sites and anything else you can find in your tourist guide. Other times, one feels more part of the life in the new place strolling the streets outside the tourist route, getting lost in unknown neighborhoods, going to a grocery store, chatting with the locals. Suddenly, the illusion of being part of this new world seems to be one’s reality and all other realities fade away. It’s a brand new life, so bright, so vibrant, so new, so full of…life! Interesting, colorful, with new sounds and smells, tastes, customs, ideas, beliefs. Everything is new and that makes it so exciting. All that is old is left behind. What a relief that can be! Hope reemerges. The joy and anticipation for every new day. The exhilaration to take a new path and see where it leads. What lies around that corner? What will you find behind that building? Discovering a cute little shop or an architectural marvel, a new view of the harbor or of the mountain. Then, wandering the streets a little longer, loving every bit of it. Life can be so beautiful…

 

What do you mean it’s time to go back now?

 

 

by Melina Stefanidou

 

 

 

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