I read somewhere that travel is the only time in our lives that we are fully in the moment; not thinking of the past, nor the future. A magical break in the everyday, in which you become so immersed in navigating the present, that you don’t reserve much space to fret about peripheral timelines. Of course, the lead up to any trip involves some degree of stress: printing your boarding passes, triple checking that your passport is in your backpack, allotting enough time to get to the airport etc., but, once your luggage wheels touch the floor of your destination residence, that rush of relief positions you squarely back in the present.
In my travel experiences, I always feel like I have been removed from my own universe, and placed into someone else’s storyline. Suddenly, watching people commute to work is exciting and interesting. How is their daily routine different or surprisingly similar to yours? What is a regular breakfast for the locals, is a fascinating culinary experience for you. They eat what on what? You can also be anybody you want to be, or loudly and proudly yourself, without the residual social anxiety of feeling “known” in your usual, everyday surroundings. As Carmela Soprano excitedly says during her first trip to Paris: “nobody knows us here, Ro!” (“Cold Stones”, The Sopranos). Suddenly, you’re not expected to be or act a certain way. Travel provides an escape and a readjustment of how we perceive both ourselves, and our surroundings. Worries of days past suddenly seem trivial, because here, you walked three miles on the Champs-Elysees, or finally made it to that 1200-year-old church after recalling a few words from high school Spanish class to ask a local for directions. Every small mistake or cultural snafu is taken in stride when you’re abroad: you’re surviving outside of your comfort zone, learning on the go, and enjoying it.
We travel to discover, explore, to experience, to eat, but you already knew that. We also travel to release ourselves from the mundane, from what we already know, and become immersed in the novel and the unfamiliar. When we travel, we are reunited with that child-like wonderment of not knowing what something is, what something tastes like, or how something works. And isn’t it joyous to become reacquainted with this curiosity? To refocus your attention on what else is out there? What other lives are possible to lead? No matter how fast-paced the itinerary, when we travel we are forced to slow down, and to appreciate. And I certainly appreciate being able to slow down.
I wanted to start ‘Fro There as a way to collect and document my travel experiences. If they encourage others to explore more, fear less, and increase their curiosity for our shared world, that’s the icing on the cake. I want everyone to know that there is so much more out there than the confinements of the everyday, and once you begin to travel, that curiosity and wonderment never leaves.