Have you ever walked in a crowded street, minding your own business, when all of a sudden, your attention is drawn towards a single person, maybe an awkward old man, or a beautiful lady, or maybe even a kid playing with the shadows projected from his hand. You may even stop and glare and the reflection of the sun on a tall skyscraper or the architecture of a flower placed on top of a table of a bistrot.
For a moment, a blink of an eye, all your attention is focused on that detail, that person. Your mind starts wondering, you start randomly asking yourself: “Why is that man acting weird? How much of the life of that splendid woman was improved because of her beauty? Is she sick of succeeding only because of her appearance? What is that kid imagining while playing with such a simple material? Why that flower has that specific color, where does it come from, how did it get here?” And as fast as these thoughts arrived they immediately disappear, like a breath on a window.
Everybody travels, everybody loves to see new places, it helps us confront the place we call home with other destinations. How many time did you ask yourself: “How my life would have been if I were born here?”. You question yourself in a passive way. And end up by not getting to know who actually lives there, and can answer your question in the best of ways.
I always travelled, since I was born, I have been very lucky to have this privilege. And I love travelling. But I recently understood that I was just a spectator, of this beautiful show that’s called “World”.
I discovered this, on the 2th of October 2011, while sitting in a bar in Santo Domingo killing time before my flight to Madrid, the world we live in has given us the ability to be seen and experienced like never before, and being a passive spectator just wasn't sufficient anymore.
While having the the same will to travel as before, from that moment I started asking whatever questions I thought about to whoever I encountered, discovering the hard way to live in a specific place, adapting myself, questioning myself actively every single moment, discovering, looking, living.
It’s a simple task, just look around yourself, see a person or even a simple object, a chair. Ask yourself: “Why is it built that way, why in those colors, who created it, is his life changed once he projected it?” Wouldn’t you be intrigued of meeting this person, get to know him, try to understand is brain and work flow.
I love to watch documentaries, but I always felt a passive viewer and it always frustrated me the fact that I couldn’t ask my own questions or live on my own skin the experiences they were describing.
Sometimes, when I travel, I challenge myself to depart with no information what’s so ever on my destination. In this way I can truly experience a land, asking people to live there what to see and do (if I’m on vacation), and maybe get to know so much somebody new that he will be my own Virgilio during my trip.
Life should be more like a RPG, something like Final Fantasy VII (if you don’t know what it is Google it up, buy it, play it and finish it before continuing, it will be worth it). In an RPG you can live a story, but at the same time you are willing to discover the more as possible to fully enjoy the experience of the game. You start looking for secret treasures, you bump in to NPC(non-playing-characters) wondering what kind of information they will give you, maybe they’ll tell you a joke, maybe they’ll give you an important detail on a side quest. You want to know everything. And once it’s finally over you’re left frustrated since you are so attached to that world and experience that you would like to continue to discover new adventures and talk with new characters.
What if your life could be like this? Why aren’t we curious enough? Why most of the time we are passively living our lives, watching things pass by, maybe entering a routine that might chain you forever until one day, you will regret that you didn’t see as much as you would have had to. This was the main reason I stopped playing videogames long ago. The world was my sandbox, I only needed to stop reading it’s manual.
We are constantly trying to earn time, just to have more time to work, to sleep. Have you ever asked yourself, i.e., why do you keep sending SMS? To earn time? Time for do what? With an SMS you are actively proclaiming that your time is not worth to spend talking with the person you wrote to. I find it tremendously irritating and not respectful. I’m a huge time-management geek when it comes to organize my productivity at work, but I forget everything about earning time when out from the office. My biggest concern now is trying to keep on my tracks. It isn’t easy if you settle down for a while. My mind might stop travelling as my body. So I need to keep moving, keep looking, keep questioning…
I know my words may seem pretentious to the most of people. But I can’t stop wondering what world it could be if everybody wanted to knew everything and everyone.
I hope to stay this foolish as people sometimessay for a long time, I know very well that one day I’ll settle down too, but my mind will keep travelling with my experiences.
“Travel isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.”