Traveling; seeing the world, meeting new people, making new discoveries, eating very spicy curry and learning to love it……all of it is amazing, no other word for it, just amazing! However, like everything, it comes at a cost, and one which you wouldn’t expect (and even if you did, you wouldn’t let it stop you from flying away to that grand destination you’ve always dreamed of ).
What they never tell you about traveling, I mean really traveling, by immersing yourself in another culture, maybe learning a new language, meeting people who you wouldn’t ordinarily ‘mingle’ with,seeing how people in extreme conditions live, seeing and experiences some of nature’s most incredible creations…. All of that changes you. Whether it’s for the best or not depends on one’s own interpretation, but one certainty is that you don’t return to where you came from the same person as when you left. And although most of the time, the place you left and what was in it, hasn’t changed, you no longer see it in the same way; and even scarier is that you no longer fully fit in.
The more you travel, the more you experience, the further you get from where you came from and from the people who haven’t shared those experiences. You suddenly become that person who whispers at dinner ‘Please don’t throw that away, there are people starving in the world.’ and you say it because you’ve seen it first hand. You become that person who hates bottled water, and plastic, and packaging, and liquid soap, and imported fruit, and eating meat every day, and quinoa, and endless shopping and shopping bags, and tags that say ‘made in Vietnam’, you even advocate the DIVA cup!!!… And since you don’t want to be that person, you shut up, and that only distances you even more.
The owner of my tango school, Carolina, a woman, which in of itself is quite the feat in Argentina, says that the more you improve your dance, the less people you want to dance with. She says her world is lonely and she’s almost lost the love she once had for her passion. Travelling creates that same type of loneliness.
Another friend of mine here, who is from Russia, told me that when he arrived In Buenos Aires, he was very frustrated with the fact that his mediocre Spanish wouldn’t allow him to express all the incredible things he was experiencing. And now that he’s returning to Russia, where despite having all the words possible, he knows no one will truly understand him, because they haven’t lived here… and I’m sure he’s right.
You see, you live, you eat, you grow and you create distance and then there’s no going back…so now you’ve been warned, the rest is in your hands.
The eternal nomad
This post originally appeared on Ramblings of a Slightly Neurotic Globetrotter
Andreea Vladan is a writer, world traveler and tanguera who is currently mastering the art of tango in Buenos Aires and in a previous life was a manufacturing process engineer for vaccines.