“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher.
Travel enriches a person, deep down to their soul. It shows them the world in a different light, in all its vibrancy while taking away the barriers of differences between people. It shows us that people living on the far side of the world, away from us, are in many ways the same as we are. Though they may look different and talk differently, in the end, their hopes, dreams, aspirations are the same as ours. It makes us see the world in a new light and makes us begin accepting the world views of different people. A new understanding dawns on us, and we realize that in the end, we are all human. We understand what tolerance is all about. We understand that helping each other through hardships – even if we don’t understand the other person’s language – can bring us together in a way nothing else can.
Travel shears away all our illusions and leaves the harshness of reality in its wake. It strips us of all delusions and the things we coat ourselves in our daily lives and gives us a deeper, wholesome experience of the world.
How else would a traveller from Netherlands come to India and as they stay here, slowly but surely start understanding the country and fall in love with it? How else would a traveller from India go to the far east where they do not understand the language or the way of live, but slowly get a feel for the way of life there, until eventually they end up falling in love with the place? In the end, travel makes you a more respectful, understanding and tolerant person.
But more than that, it also makes you independent in a way nothing else can. It makes you learn to bank on yourself and deal with the most extreme situations with vigour and innovation. Imagine getting stuck in a place with no electricity and having to make do, or having your vehicle break down in a place far from civilization, or having to spend a night in the open if you don’t find hotels and the like anywhere. These may seem like problems, but with the right attitude, they can become learning opportunities. An adventure unto its own!
You learn that not all strangers are unhelpful, that there exist good humans in the world who are willing to go out of their way to help you. You learn that the world is much different than media’s portrayal of it. You learn to have faith in humanity – and ultimately, in yourself. And you understand that no matter how bad the situation is, how dark the cloud is, there is always a silver lining, as long as you are willing to keep hope and strive your hardest to get over that hurdle.
In the end, travel takes you away and turns you into a complete person.