The Truth About Travelers
We have been called many things. Travelers, by default. But we like to be called nomads. Explorers. Vagabonds. Adventurers. Wayfarers. Modern gypsies. Wanderers. We’ve adopted them all. A growing breed of humans with restless feet and the inability to stay still, the inability to stay in one place.
That is who we are. And that’s just the gist of it.
We come from all walks of life, from bustling gray colored cities, sleepy beach towns, snow-covered metropolises, small villages nestled in between lush green mountains, we come from everywhere. But our inner gravity always brings us to the same place… the road.
We deem courage weighs more than money when it comes to travel. We’re not rich, not financially well-off and we don’t travel for luxury. Our money does not come from rich parents, trust funds, or whatever privileges you think we have in order to maintain a life of travel. We work hard, or work while we travel and save whatever means we make. We travel at the cost of sacrifices. We’re happy living with just barely enough as long as we’re on the road. This means that we have given up plenty of comforts for the sake of travel. We would rather choose a dorm bed in a cheap hostel, a couch, a hammock, a tent, or concrete floor. We’ve slept in night boats, century-old huts, train stations, in bamboo huts with indigenous tribes, in a house built on stilts in shantytowns and god knows where else.
We have learned to live in depth without comforts. The uncomfortable becomes comfortable to us. Most of us don’t own homes, or if some of us do, they’re probably renting it out to use that money to travel and explore. We don’t spend our money lavishly on things we don’t need. We don’t buy many things, we don’t let things own us. We’ve learned that the less things we have, the better we live.
We feel the most alive when we’re out there. Living nomadically with nothing but our possessions in a backpack and moving as our only constant. Anything is possible when we are given a brand new day in a place we have never been as we surrender ourselves to the currents of the universe.
We are mesmerized by every culture. We act like sponges when we go to a new country we’ve never been to, we immerse ourselves into every experience and soak our souls with its depth. We believe that smiles are universal and no matter what language fills our ears, we can see people’s stories through a smile.
We’ve learned to not let small annoyances, adversities, and misadventures get the best of us and we don’t let it ruin our days. We believe that in any given moment, we have the choice to suffer from whatever problems come our way, or just simply accept it. We’ve grown to choose the latter. We’re not afraid of troubles coming our way even if we are traveling alone most of the time. We’ve learned to face our fears and unlearn them so we grace through our days with courage. No matter whatever fears people project on us, we smile and look right past it. We have learned that if we constantly keep a sunny disposition and keep our light bright then we won’t see the shadows.
We follow wherever the next sunrise and sunset takes us. We are guided by moon cycles and stardust. We look up the the night sky, gaze up at the cosmos, and know that wherever we are and whoever we’re without, we are never really alone. And we are comforted by this very notion.
We have dedicated our hearts to the road. Even when we’re not on it we’re working to save up for our next trip, every time we hear an airplane, we look up, smile and imagine ourselves on it. We know that the day is coming soon, and we are fueled by that thought. We go to bookstores to browse through the travel section, pick out travel guides and sit there skimming through the pages and daydreaming about our future travels. Our minds constantly drift away to the next destination on our list. Our wanderlust is insatiable and even when we feel it’s slaked, it doesn’t take long at all until we’re hungry again. And we’re hungry all the time.
We travel not just to go, we travel to evolve. Embracing new experiences, endlessly changing horizons, and each brand new day as a way of living. We live for airports, planes, buses, boats, trains, road trips. We find clarity in the blur of the places zooming past us as we look through the window. This is our home. This will always be our home.
These are the stories we will tell people, the ones we love, the ones we just met, the ones who come and ago, the perfect strangers. We will keep showing the others that we were born wanderers, that wanderlust resides within every single one of us. And that no matter who we are, where we are, what we do, and what we have we can always choose to follow it.
We’re not saying that you should give up everything in your life this second, buy a ticket, and pack your backpack. Although you can if really want to, if everything inside of you is telling you to do so you should listen. But we’re saying that when you choose to strip away years of unnecessary baggage, you’ll find freedom. We’re not saying that you should take the risk and leap, then everything will always be peachy and perfect. It’s never like that. But what we’re saying is, you should allow yourself to be free. You should allow yourself to stand on the fringes of life, and dive into its alluring ambiguity. Even if it means facing your fears. Even if it means making sacrifices. Even if it means letting go of things you’ve held onto for so long. Even if it means having to let go of people you love. Even if it all terrifies you. We’re saying open yourself up to the world. Embrace all of its worth. Let its teachings seep into all that you are.
When you do that, all your layers will peel off and you will discover your true self.
And so here’s the truth. We travel not just to travel and marvel at people, places, things. That’s not just it. That was never just it for us. We travel to learn, to experience, and to feel all the spectrums of being human in this world.
One day, when we are old with silver hair, freckles, creases, and laugh wrinkles from many years of wandering drenched under sunlight. Our children’s children will lay out with us under the stars by a campfire on a moonlit beach elsewhere. We will tell them stories of wild adventures, of lived dreams, of enchanting places, of conquered fears, of lessons that turned into gold, lessons that we’ve learned from the road, and a full life lived. Our journeys will inspire their own.
Our journey is our truth. It’s the truth that illuminates us, as we continue on where we thrive and wander, on the road we call our home.
By Stephanie Dandan