“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Remember your first childhood crush? It was the kid you always tried to keep up with in gym class, his unkempt dirty-blonde hair bobbing playfully up and down in front of you as you chased after him with relentless determination. Or that boisterous trouble maker in high school you couldn’t help but admire, always from a distance as he seemed completely unattainable from your naive perspective. Then you grew up a little- not just in stature but in confidence, and your world of possibilities expanded beyond hopeless daydreaming and futile infatuations only to discover that the perfect boy in your senior biology class was not so perfect… the outspoken girl you strove to be like had insecurities of her own. And that was the beginning of discovering the world in all it’s imperfections.
The more I explore, the more I discover that travelling is a lot like dating. You see a place from afar, and you admire it’s potential. Your eyes are drawn to the spellbinding magnificence of the contrast between where you are now and – Oh the possibilities of where you could be! However the closer you get, and the longer you stay the more you realize that each place has a history, and each one carries along with it a splendor, a uniqueness, a peculiarity, and also a darkness. And just like every one you have ever loved, every place you ever visit begins to unravel a deep part of you, maybe your best feature or one that you would rather keep hidden, even from yourself.
For me Melbourne was like a guy I never saw myself dating- yet the more time I spent around him, celebrated his strengths and cradled his flaws, the more real he became and the more intertwined our connection grew. Just like any persona I have ever dated, every place I visit teaches me a little more about myself, it illuminates my strengths, my weaknesses, pushes me out of my comfort zone, and exposes me to situations that will only serve to make me better.
The way I see it travelling, kind of like dating, is a roller coaster of euphoria and heartbreak. Some people will disappoint you, some place will inspire you but no matter how far you go or how long you stay, every place and every person you meet along the way will always keep a piece of your heart.