Monday, August 21, 2017

How to Always be a Winner when On The Road

One of the questions that bothers me the most is: 'Why do you want to visit this and that place?' followed sometimes, but the remark: 'It is nothing to do/see there'. Ironically, I've heard such a 'wise advice' from some people belonging to the travel blogging gang too. Which in my naive way surprises me, assuming that people who write about travel should be in fact individuals passionate about discovering places and people, even 'off the beaten path', not only Instagrammable corners with a nice sunshine and posh beaches - nothing against it.
Turn left or turn right, it is always your own choice

But keep in mind for an answer the title of a book by Nobel prize American physicist Robert Feynman: 'What do you care what other people think?' And this goes as well to the relationship that a person that has travel at heart develops in time with those who cannot actually grasp why travel is so important. Or why you want to invest your savings to see the world instead of filling your life with objects that most probably in a couple of years you would need to replace or simply throw away. Because, compared to memories and ideas, objects are perishable. They are there to answer a specific practical need, but it's all they can do and nothing more - don't expect a plate to be your evening companion and listen to your stories about dreams and failures. 
Instead, keep in mind that travel brings you an invaluable knowledge about the world that cannot be compared to any material richness. It is a kind of treasure whose value doesn't depend on the fluctuations of the stock exchange and that is precious for itself and for ever. Think about a precious diamond you don't have to insure and carry worried that it can be stolen from you. Your knowledge is the most precious diamond and as always in the case of valuable things, you might need to fight for it and be worth of it.
When it comes to travel, my love for it started at a very early age, during my long mountain hiking summers and continued with my early teenage years of travel in the beautiful Switzerland. I was lucky and priviledged in a way, but I also tried to be grateful and use my knowledge accumulated in my travels to help other people go out of their boxes and embrace the world. I know from my personal experience how difficult could be sometimes to travel with a child, but if you think of the long term benefits you will realize how important is to do it regardless of the hassle. Of course they need to know they have a home, but once they are back from the travels, the sense of home is completely challenged. 
Either you will see your street through completely new eyes - every street and house has its story - or to embark on an adventure around the world, there is always something to see, regardless what other people say.

Beauty is always in the details
Personally, I had the most diverse travel experiences: from posh luxury hotels to hostels and rented houses, from airplanes I wasn't sure will reach the destination in Ukraine to business class trips to Switzerland where the glass of champagne was the less luxurious treat, or even a small private jet ride, because we were late for a meeting in Brussels. I had the experience of seeing the top-notch of Washington D.C., but also the hard life in former Yugoslav countries after the war or spotted the rockets sent in the air by Albanian rebels in Macedonia. 
Luckily, all my jobs involved travel, some of them a lot of it, and I tried to get the best of every single experience. When the places I was visiting weren' maybe so attractive touristically - no museums or a restaurant to review, I tried to create friendships and improve a local language I was learning, or just listen to the human stories. Just as any human being has a story, also a place has something to say and all you need is to open your eyes, ears and heart to listen to it. One of the book that I mention very often that was recommended to me during some art theory classes I took a couple of years ago - because, why not? - is How to Use your Eyes by James Elkins, short lessons in learning how 'to see anything'. The next time when someone asks you why you want to travel, recommend this book; it is truly life challenging. 
Maybe this building looks like a ruin but I bet it has an interesting story to tell

As for me, travel is always a win-win scenario. Even when for various reasons I couldn't go as far as I wanted to, touring the little places around Berlin, like Klein Machnow or M├╝hlenbecker Land or neighbourhoods usually under the travel radar like Alt Mariendorf or Alt Reinickendorf, taught me a lot about history and culture and offered me some relaxing hours in the middle of the nature too. And I don't see any reason to change this.
Therefore, keep an eye on the blog for more inspiration coming up. I have a lot of posts coming up in the next days featuring some unknown destinations in Berlin, plus some foodie discoveries and confessions, and even more German destinations - many of them 'off the beaten path' - are waiting me to visit. Because for some, travel is just a healthy state-of-mind and using the power of words to share and encourage other people to do the same is a blessing and an obligation. 

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