A Thing that happens when you have been travelling for a while

I’ve been on the road now for around 5 months and I won’t be returning home for another eight months. The trip began with in Morocco with a tour, then we went to Spain and an experience living in Spain followed by an English language immersion week near Madrid. It was around this time that I started to notice a few things were changing but it only really sank in since visiting Brussels in May and has only been enhanced in the time since.

When you start a trip like this, you have all the best intentions to see as much as you can and in my case write everything on the website for the world to see. You have your camera with you at all times and you take hundreds of photos, scribble notes hastily in your battered notebook in anticipation of documenting the entire experience. Each location offers an opportunity to tell the world how wonderful it is, how amazing it is to see these incredible cities and icons.

I have walked through so much history on this trip already, let alone my travels previously. I have seen literally thousands of pieces of art and so-called masterpieces. Hundreds of cathedrals, palaces, and castles. Dozens of festivals and events. After a while, each of these becomes just another along the way. True it may be in a different country but the glow begins to fade after the twentieth gothic cathedral. Believe me.

And then it hits you, the moments that make you feel truly alive, is when you meet someone and share stories. The richest moments are not when you see a Van Gogh or walk the ancient cobblestoned streets of Toledo, it is when you stop, put down the camera, and sit a while with someone you don’t know. Recognising these moments is difficult, but when you do, the rewards can be extraordinary.

The relationships you develop along the road can be more intense than those you have with people you have known your entire life. There is only a small window of time to get to know this person, and so you dispense with the traditional conversation topics of day to day life and dive headlong into topics that you are each passionate about. You delve into the shaded corners of a person’s soul with gusto, savouring their perspective and opinion as though it were fine wine. In the space of a few hours you can lay the foundation of friendship that could last your entire life, knowing full well that this may be the only time you have together.

For a few brief moments the world becomes smaller and vastly more intricate as you glimpse life’s rich tapestry. These moments linger in your mind, enhance the experience, and provide for wondrous reflection throughout your life.