A couple of thoughts and an update.
01.09.2014 - 18.01.2015 17 °C
Travel is more than an arbitrary change of scenery, its more than just going from here to there.
It is an experience; an adventure.
What is adventure, then?
Once I read Georg Simmel defining it as an experience so outside the normal routine, so different to the usual way of life as to, when finished (because it must finish), constitute a dream-like memory. Once over, an adventure is not much more than a tale ready for retelling and embellishment.
I believe this definition is missing something: an adventure, to be considered such, must risk one's life... It need not do so in a physical way though. In spanish, an affair is often referred to as an adventure. An affair may not risk one's life in any biological sense, but it certainly jeopardizes a way of life. Some adventures are so because in them we discover other ways of life, and wish for a moment there was no reason for going back to ours.
Much has been written about the difference between the tourist and the traveller. The way I see it, such difference lies in the word itself: tourist. A tour, in french, is a circuit, a turn or twist, some circular path. A tour ends where it begins, and so, a tourist will visit a few places, then come back home. A traveller, however, can never go back, she can only go forward.
When the trip finishes the tourist returns home, finding nothing much has changed, falling back to the routine. The views, beaches and drinks become blurry, a simple adventure, a dream. Real life takes over, continues.
But sometimes, it doesn't. An adventure may lead to another, trains may follow each other and what started off as a round trip, well, just goes on. Travelling, as the traveller experiences it, is more of a way of life. It does not simply end. A journey may encompass many smaller trips, tours, arrivals and departures. One may stay still for a week, a month or a year, but soon feelings arise. Some languages have special words for this. Wanderlust, anomie or fernweh but a few. The nostalgia for faraway places and distant friendships is not easily quenched.
I know this, for I am there.
It's been almost six months since my return to the City. There's been some trying, some good and other awesome moments.
I missed my friends while away, so I gathered some of them to live under the same roof.
For almost two years I spent every full moon at a different place. I've now spent this past ones not only in the same bed, but beside the same person.
Academically too, I am finally where I had projected to be. After a four year struggle, I can finally move on to my thesis, and leave that university phase behind. Wouldn't that be something?
And yet, I can hear the call of the horizon and ache for the road. Soon.
I did say travel is an adventure. And I also said adventures end.
Just, not quite yet.