5 Thoughts From My Travels
Last week, I traveled outside of the United States for the first time. It was a great experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it in its entirety. Now that I am home, I do have some thoughts that I would like to share.
1. Travel is thought provoking.
There is something about travel that inspires contemplation. Perhaps it is the vast array of new sights, people, or places. Perhaps it is the history, art, or culture. Whatever the cause, travel is thought provoking.
Even traveling to a destination as near as Canada, I was cast into thought by the sights of small fishing communities, the lifestyle and culture of French villages, and the politics and economics of the locale. I can only imagine where my thoughts would have gone had I traveled somewhere truly foreign. I now have a sort of wanderlust. I want to see different cultures and peoples. I want to see what is working and what isn’t. I want to see how people chose to live and the consequences of those choices.
2. Travel is best done alone, or nearly so.
As travel is thought provoking, it is best done alone, or mostly alone. Having a companion, who will inevitably jolt you out of your introspection every few minutes, can take the thoughtfulness out of the entire experience. I do not see how you are supposed to analyze what you are seeing when your companion is constantly pulling you from your thoughts.
However, companions are not all bad. If your fellow traveler allows you the time to think and then asks about your thoughts, analyzes them for himself or herself, and then provides constructive feedback or input, the relationship can be quite beneficial. Of course, finding a companion with the maturity and self restraint to not interrupt your thoughts could be a bit difficult.
3. Travel is educational.
Canada is a lot like America; however, I still managed to learn a lot while I was there. I learned about Canada’s history, heritage, industry, political system, economy, and culture. Actually, while I was in Canada, I also learned a bit about French culture as an added bonus.
I probably could have learned much of what I learned through the internet or through books, but it was more meaningful and memorable to learn it first hand. For example, when I only saw a handful of teens in each of the smaller ports that I visited, it showed me one of Canada’s demographic difficulties in a way that Google never could. Canada’s population is aging, and young people are moving to cities instead of staying out in agricultural or fishing areas, which could drastically change Canada’s economy…not that the change would necessarily be bad.
4. Travel is poetic.
I cannot place my finger on it, but there is something poetic in travel. Something about new places, peoples, and cultures just inspires a feeling that can only be described as poetic. Whatever the cause may be, I have definitely felt it. In fact, while I was on my ship traveling between ports in Canada, I wrote a poem. Here it is:
The smell of the salty sea
The ship rocking you to sleep
The sunset on the waves
The lighthouse on the shore
Oh, what a beautiful thing
The life of a man at sea
5. Travel is beautiful.
Supposedly, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I shall illustrate this purely through pictures from my travels.