Somebody That I Used to Know…
Friday, October 7 2011
Travel provides us with many things—a fresh perspective, broadened horizons and often a diminished bank account. It also allows us to become someone we are not. Refreshing.
It occurred to me on my two week sojourn also known as the “mid-semester break” (…strangely slightly past the halfway mark in week 8) that I love travelling for a very different reason than I thought.
I began a week-long trek across Tasmania’s lush, wet and snowy Overland Track, and, despite the discussions over the grandeur of the Australian scenery, we also discussed the fundamentals of travel.
Thinking back to previous holidays mid-walk, my mate and I laughed over some of our previous adventures. Some of the risks we had taken, some of those moments where you cannot believe that you actually did that. For example, leaving your passport with a complete stranger as a form of collateral for, lets say, motorbike hire. What a silly idea that was, I mean, he could’ve been anyone. With any wild intentions. It got me thinking—that’s as good as handing someone back home your wallet or car keys, or car for that matter. Just to mind, of course.
Looking back it seems an almost out-of-character decision. The beauty of travel is its opportunities of freedom. It allows you to become somebody you’re not. To revel in the moment of making decisions so far removed from your mundane and routinised life. That’s where the excitement and thrill comes from. It’s spontaneous. It’s rejuvenating. And it’s not you.
We travel because we become a part of ourselves we wish we were, or imagine that we should always be. It’s almost as if we take the chance in fulfilling that part of our identity that we only imagine when entrenched in our everyday existence. A stage to perform our secretly-desired selves. And what’s not to love! We get to eat exotic foods. Watch diverse cultures perform and interact and swarm around you. You become the worldly somebody you innately crave. And all the while it is not you—indeed you seize happily at the chance. That reckless decision. That carefree and wistful ambition; headlong attempts at life that transcend age, maturity, wealth and occupation.
All of these things don’t matter when you travel. In fact, nobody really cares. You’ve become the embodiment of the person you imagine yourself to be. Refreshing, huh?