I´ve traveled to more than 125 cities in less than 90 days, yet the most extreme trip I’ve done happened in my own head, in the same city I was raised.
You know what, flying is a pretty easy thing for some of us. Birds spread their wings and jump, wealthy families use their credit cards and adventurous youngsters work their asses off and save for months to hop on planes.
But traveling is not only about that.
Actually, it’s not about that at all.
Travelling is change and constant wonder. Traveling means experiencing new things every hour and although it’s uncommon to think this way, it can be done inside of your own head.
I remember when I was 15 and my mind was filled with questions about who God was. I’d been traveling to different countries since I was 3 years old thanks to my family but my desire to travel began with an intense, internal curiosity in regard to religion at the age of 15. I accepted my curiosity as a challenge to better understand not only others but myself – I let my brain’s ventures begin to journey from country to country in search of the differing roots of unique religious philosophies planted in different parts of the world. Instead of admiring flags or architecture, I sought to understand the differences between Catholicism, Christianity, Atheism, Judaism, and Buddhism. I flew between religions, belief systems and customs; tried out Kabbalah and meditation, spent some days believing in everything and others believing in nothing at all. I worked through monotheism to polytheism, and then back again. I traveled through my own thoughts constantly…
I know my story is no longer, perhaps, the most original or different; however, I always find it necessary to share with others interested in similar paths that most importantly, travel is a state of mind, not just plane tickets. You can be in another country physically yet your mind can remain connected to your hometown. And better yet, you can be standing in the same city you were raised and have known inside out your entire life but with a changed mindset about how to perceive travel, feel like a complete tourist. Traveling is a state of mind in which the only rest happens while maintaining a sense of wonder and accepting constant drops of uncertainty.
Traveling through understanding many religions ultimately morphed into traveling through different sports, hobbies, beliefs and eating regiments. All of these experiences created a foundation in me that deeply values learning from “the new and different” which is a perspective that has prepared me for every trip.
For this reason, before talking about different places and countries and cultures, I prefer to share the thought journey that prepared me to embrace wonder and ultimately appreciate different religious ideologies, to love accents, and to enjoy eating starkly contrasting cuisines from the ones I am accustomed to. Traveling is like a form of meditation, when you are in the midst of it be sure to stay as present as possible in order to flow with the new and unexpected.
Yup, in short, that’s my travel mindset but for those who would prefer a straight, no punches answer to a more personally revealing question, I have also answered “What are some of the craziest situations you’ve found yourself in on your trips?”
I narrowed it down to 3 bullet points… although, I would advise you to never let anyone pressure you to minimizing an experience or journey to a mere bullet.
- Being lost in China at 3am without a phone or cash nor understanding of the language.
- Teaching in a Brazilian favela and fearing my life when myself and other housemates realized my roommate was being accused of murder and officially on the loose.
- Biking my whole country – Panama – without training and with a team of almost complete strangers; a good childhood friend who will ultimately become my best friend (Gabe), a person Gabe met in a supermarket in Rome who does videography and filmed the trip (Archie) and an American girl I had met during a short trip to New York who has ultimately become the love of my life (Danielle).
Uncertainty is my passion, and travelling taught me love.