the art of travel: definition in flux }

16 April 2012 § 4 Comments

There’s something important to be said for what our energy attracts to us, and what we ask of the universe. Be specific with your requests, and you’ll get just that. But the more broad you are in your requests, the more open to possibility you are, the greater potential for the reply. You may receive something you never expected, and it may be exactly what you needed.

‘The art of travel,’ said the blond-haired kid in the well-intentioned, poorly-acted film of the same name, ‘is to divert from one’s plans.’

He had quite a bit to learn still, but had a good point nevertheless. I just had a lesson from that. It was grand.

I leave Central America tomorrow, and am still traveling.

And I keep saying that, I know – the idea that consumes me: that I am leaving the life I’ve had for nearly a year, returning to the States, now a gladly unfamiliar place, a culture I’ve enjoyed avoiding perhaps too much. A moment ago, the hostel receptionist asked if I was from the U.S.

Alaska, I said.

That’s the States, right?

Eh. Sort of.

Last year I was introduced to the idea of the international nomad, and the domestic. Growing up, moving around every couple of years, sometimes more frequently – I attended 17 schools before graduating high school – it was always in the the U.S. Other kids did what I did, but moved all around the world. They had no home culture, were equally displaced in Canada, the land of their parents and perhaps where they themselves were born, as in Switzerland, or Algeria, or Hong Kong, but knowing all of those places and cultures intimately. Because those years are so formative, it happens often that throughout the adult life of an international nomad that they never quite find a home, and when they do, it may be only on the fringes of those they knew as children.

Every time I return to my home culture, I feel less connected to it, less morally able to defend its faults, and more judgmental of the people who comprise it, including myself. I feel more open to those I visit. I find it ironic and a touch insulting that abroad, people generally associate me first with my country, and then as an individual (the insult comes from my disconnect, and lack of embracing what formed me). Yet I find myself doing the same.

Entonces. My request for the universe, and of myself:

Return with acceptance, Sean. Return knowing that you can leave again. Return more willing to see the positive aspects of your home, the reasons people from all over the world flock to your country, and know that though the American Dream is a fraudulent and expired hoax for you, it is a reality for them. Go to their countries; see where they came from. Find out why they left, and they might do the same for you.

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