Saturday, June 15, 2013

Do Not Travel To "Find" Yourself

Do not travel thinking that you're going to figure everything out about yourself. That you're going to find the answer to life somewhere in Europe or Ecuador or India.

Because I guarantee you that you will lose, reinvent, or forget more of yourself than you find.

Which isn't a bad thing.

Here's how I imagine it:

You are a bowl. Your life experiences are the water being poured into the bowl. Travel makes the water flow faster, but it simultaneously creates a bigger bowl. So you are gaining more, but you have more room to fill, too. Maybe you will find parts of yourself, but you'll discover that there is so much more of you to find than you ever thought.

Maybe you'll end up in the Ukrainian forest for ten days. Maybe you'll be surrounded by people speaking Russian and you'll feel like an imbecile every single day. Maybe you'll help orphans learn to dance. Maybe they'll teach you about daisy chains and tiny blackberries and jasmine bushes and friendship bracelets and hands-over-your-eyes games and never-ending, beautiful, Christlike love.

Maybe you'll go back to Kiev and realize that the world kept turning. That you mean less than you ever thought. That you have so little impact on anything.

And maybe that's not a bad thing.

Because you got to say "Ya tibya loobloo" (I love you) to those angel orphans. You got to hold their hands. You got to hug them and learn from them and laugh and and feel your heart grow.

Do not travel to find yourself. Travel to find others. Travel to gain perspective. Travel to find God. Travel to forget yourself.