I think a lot. I think. Especially when I travel. Actually I’m thinking a lot about travel when I’m not traveling as well.
Timezones and daily life
First of all, travel gives you time to think. When I was working and saving up money for my big Central America trip, basically the only thing I thought about at the time was traveling. Somehow, a year and a half managed to go pretty fast and suddenly I was jobless and ready to leave. Once your on a trip, you’re in a different time zone. – yeah yeah, literally as well, depends on where you’re going – Not only does day and night starts to mix up and flow over into each other, days of the week also have no meaning. Once the routine is gone, the awareness of time leaves as quickly as possible. But you also have huge time gaps to fill on the road. When waiting for a bus. Waiting to check in. – only when you’re really really tired, otherwise the waiting is replaced by discovering the local habitat – Waiting at the airport. Sitting on the bus. Sitting on the plane. On a boat. At the hostel with no friends, waiting for people to be social. – just kidding on that one – A lot of time to reflect on myself, think about what I want in life and what kind of job I would like when I’m back home. Wrong. The only things I thought about was how do I get from one place to another, how do you say ‘thank you’ in spanish, where’s the closest ATM, how do I cross this border, where’s the toilet, I’m hungry, where can I buy food, and so on. No solving questions about life. – damn you, mysteries of the universe – Time is here and now. No future, no past. Just being in the moment. Enjoying being in the moment. Worrying about problems when they’re there and solving them when they occur. Travel makes you live in the moment, no tomorrows, no mondays and no next months or last weeks. Just here and now. Which is absolutely the best thing ever.
Endless bucket lists
I like lists. I used to make a to-do-list everyday when studying, ticking off the tasks while finishing them. And start all over the next day with a new list. Sometimes I even made two lists a day! – wohow, how daring of me – But I never made a bucket list. No paper sheet long enough to contain all the places I want to see, experiences I want to have and life changing moments I have to have in my life. – yeah, you have notebooks, but whatever – The thing is, I change my mental list almost every day. The other problem I have is that the list only grows. Every time I go somewhere I really wanted to go, I like it. But there’s always more to see and not enough time. Maybe the weather will be better. Or I love it. So I have to come back to enjoy it once more. Or I didn’t like it and I have to give the place a second change. Or I get to know other places in the neighbourhood, so I have to check those out. And while I’m there, I can always return to that particular spot, it’s so close by. You hear the conversation in my head? No winners, only longer bucket lists. Besides that, there are always new places to add. Or places you never went to, but you’re dying to go since it’s been on your bucket list for ages. Russia for example stands very high on my list. But the visa requirements make it such a hassle to plan a trip. Often I see cheap plane tickets for places I haven’t visited before, where I don’t need a visa – yes, I’m a lucky European – and off I go. Russia ranks lower on the list again. – I’ll go there someday, no worries – Friends is another bucket list changer: once you have friends in other countries, you just have to visit them. Point final. Travel makes my bucket list only longer, since it’s sooo much more than ticking off a box on the list. And I have absolutely no problem with that.
Black holes and travel bugs
The problem with frequent travelers is that they caught some travel bugs. No cockroaches or other transmittable diseases. No, the problem is in the mind. I have it as well. Once on a trip, you’re already starting to plan your next trip. Although you don’t have any money, holidays or a job yet. But you seek chances and possibilities. Because the world is such a huge place and life is way to short. And your bucket list is endless. Maybe the travel bug is also a cure against that other travel disease, the black holes. They leave you with the feeling of ‘what now?’, ‘how can I live like this’ and ‘I want to go back’. Unfortunately, there’s not much to do about it. It’s chronic. For the rest of your life. And frankly? I wouldn’t want to miss both of them. The urge to discover, to go and seek adventure, to explore, to see, to breathe, to live. Nor the black holes, with periods of thoughts and find new ways of living and new meanings of live. – not THE meaning of life, just a new meaning of my life – Because, how much I love traveling, there’s always so much more left. Family. Friends. Passions. Languages. Talents.
So, that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. With all those new years resolutions and all that. I wanted to make my own, until I realized I couldn’t. Because I like the unexpectedness, I like the being out of time while traveling and I like the unknown. I figured I just see whatever happens in 2016. Besides, I better live today and here and now, no?