Traveling is how I learned to fall in love with the world. It is the act of throwing all plans out of the window and just running with life.
Growing up ten minutes outside of New York City, I’ve been exposed to different people, different clothes, and different food all of my life. Yet, as the years pass by and I slowly check off the places I have been on a map, I feel smarter, kinder, and fall more in love with the places and people that I see.
I fell in love with the world the first time that I took the subway alone. I sat down and looked up, and what I saw looking back at me were faces that somehow seemed familiar, although I could never know all 8 million people who call New York City, home. We were all trying to get somewhere on time or get to the person that we so longed to see. We were trying to get to school, or work, or catch the one that got away. The horror stories of urine stained seats and disease infested rats did not seem to matter much, because my eyes were focused on how big the world was becoming right in front of me.
From then on out, I went around finding street corners and iced coffee and flowers that I could fall in love with. Paris, St. Maarten, Florida, New Hampshire; these were all of the places where I fell in love, not only with the cities and towns, but also with myself. I found myself on old-timey, cobblestone roads, tucked away in towns that were not too far from home. I found myself in a girl with blue hair and full sleeves in Richmond, Virginia, where I visited the Edgar Allan Poe museum and fell in love once more.
I often hear that the little things are life’s true pleasures, but I never believed it. The bigger picture always seemed so much more interesting; who I would be, what I would do, who I would spend my life with. And while those things are infinitely interesting, what strikes me the most now, are things I find when I leave the house. They’re hidden in street corners and around bends, in places I wouldn’t normally look and in shops I wouldn’t normally set foot in, and in people I may never talk to, but still look their way.
To travel is to fall in love with the world and sometimes, even yourself.