What is the power of travel? It goes beyond theories of human nature that insist humans are naturally curious and therefore seek out exploration and adventure. Travel challenges what it means to belong. Travel is discovery. Travel is understanding. Travel redefines “home”.
Humans are undoubtedly complex. Is it possible to “fit in”? About a year ago I spoke with a dear friend of mine about the idea of “home” and “fitting in”. With a diverse array of interests, humans are in fact an amalgamation of distinct parts. While most travel for leisure, others, like my nomadic ancestors, traveled to seek out a, albeit temporary, home. When times were simpler, a person’s “home” just meant a settlement on an area with arable land and other natural resources.
The world is globalized. Each individual, customized. To everyone, there is more beyond what meets the eye… beyond the given guise. So, what does it mean to “fit in”? To truly connect with a place outside of where one grew up? Does it mean that locals don’t identify you as a tourist? Does it mean that you can easily forgo the conveniences of back home for this new place? Does it mean that you find yourself itching to speak the language over your native language? Me apetece hablar el español todos los días.
As I sit here before you typing about travel, homes, and belonging, I can’t help but wonder if I will ever find a place that I consider home. Despite the fact I have been traveling since I was born, I have indeed lived in the same place for 14 years of my life. Do I consider that my “home”? I did up until about two weeks ago. After a recent trip, I realized that I don’t identify with the people, the lifestyle or the overall perception of what it means to be from my hometown. Grateful I am, for my hometown taught me so many things and instilled in me so many positive traits.
Nevertheless, I love travel for what it has given me. I discovered who I truly am beyond my community. I must say…it’s a scary thought indeed.