My passport is a double-wide. It holds the stamps of the many places that change my life everyday. Mindless blank stares, through the cheap glass barriers of customs, the ink dries and already begins to fade. Yet if I close my eyes, the memories of those places come flooding back to me.
That tiny corner baker in Venice that opens at sunrise and housed all the hungry gondoliers. The jam-packed electronic shop in Tokyo, where I continuously yelled “selfie-stick” while pantomiming like a monkey with my phone, nothing. To the most spectacular sunset on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, where I sipped local wine and stared in awe at the beauty around me.
To the people who have helped me, loved me, and shared memories with me. Some of which, I’m proud to say, are total strangers. The beauty of traveling by yourself at times is the inevitable dependency you have on other human beings. Asking for directions, speaking different languages, exchanging multiple currencies, talking to complete strangers, all things that push me and force me to grow… daily. From first class plane rides to rickety overnight trains, bare bones camping to glitzy five star resorts… There is no right way to travel. No one can say how anyone should or shouldn't experience the world…
The only requirement should be to see it. To feel it. To take it all in. With every breath, emotion, and sense alive in your body. Only then will it change you. Only then will you have felt the truest form of exploration both personally and geographically.
There were more then 27 trips this year but these were the ones that I loved, that loved me back. Chase your dreams, fight hard, get creative and do whatever it is that you love everyday.
For me that’s travel.