“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” – Max Depree
I believe travel will change your life in only the best ways. I always have, but I have become more aware of just how much travel has changed me since we came back to Winnipeg. In my hometown, the people I know seem divided into two categories; those who have been all over the world before finding their way back home and those who have never left. Everyone lives life on their own terms and makes the best choices they can, of course. But I struggle to imagine who I would be if I hadn’t seen the world. I struggle to imagine any version of myself who didn’t feel compelled to travel, to explore and adventure.
These thoughts seem all the more poignant in the wake of the events in Barcelona last week. This post was already planned, but now I can’t fathom saying anything else. I remember, before we left for Europe this year, my coworker asked me if it was truly safe to go to Paris. The question took me aback – I’ve been visiting Paris since I was a teenager and the idea of feeling unsafe there seems utterly foreign to me. But my coworker is not a traveller. All he knows of Paris is what he has seen in the news about terrorist attacks. In that moment, I flashed back to how I imagined the French capital would be a completely different world before I visited and discovered that it is a city like any other, full of people moving through their lives and trying to figure out how to be happy.
“Of course it’s safe,” I told him. “It’s as safe or unsafe as anywhere else.”
Travel teaches you that, I think; that the world is far smaller than we realise, the people in it far more similar to us than we imagine. It’s easier not to allow a terrible tragedy like the one in Barcelona to affect you, and not to feel empathy for people who experienced it first-hand, if you have never walked the streets of their home, marvelling at the beauty they are lucky to be able to take for granted.
We had the most beautiful week in Barcelona in March. We saw Parc Guell at sunrise and walked on the sand in Barceloneta. There were afternoon siestas. The city is a blissful place to be a tourist, friendly, welcoming and absolutely fascinating. I know that like Paris after the events in 2015, fewer people will visit now. Fear will hold prospective travellers back. People like my coworker will wonder if it is really a safe place. And that makes me deeply sad. To skip Barcelona, to miss visiting anywhere in the world, is to pass up an opportunity for personal growth. Travel makes us better, and let’s face it, if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we all need improvement.
It’s easy to find reasons not to explore new places right now. The world feels unpredictable and intolerant. But Max Depree was right – to make the world the place we want it to be, we have to understand what it is so we can change it in the right ways. Now more than ever, I think, we all need to travel.
#zara #stevemadden #celine #express