You know it was worth it if you have the travel epiphany. I won’t waste time and space defining it. If you have one, you’ll know it.
So instead I’ll give you an example. I went recently to Milan (Italy) for work. I didn’t want to go (for reasons that don’t fit here and now) and I was more unhappy than I had been in a long time. Then I met people. Some from Brazil, some from Italy, some from the USA, some even from Russia. I opened myself to them, maybe because I wanted so desperately to find some connection that would make me enjoy the place where I was.
And what happened was amazing. Because of these people, I got to have a crazy night that I would never have had the courage to have alone. I discovered a new place, laughed with made-at-the-last-minute friends, kissed a stranger in front of the Arco della Pace. When I was waiting for the train to go back to the hotel, it came to me: it was worth it. Even if the circumstances that brought me to that moment weren’t happy, I was. And it was worth it.
The world is so big. So full of people, places and details that are ready to change us if we let them. So crowded with possibilities that we often oversee most of them, caught up in the frustrations of what we couldn’t have. I looked up to the sky, felt the wind. The people, the land and life will always be there. There are always going to be new discoveries to be made, new feelings to be felt, new situations to be lived. And most of them will take place, inevitably, when you are out of your homeport.
That is why it is so important to explore the sea. That’s the motive to why people are so desperately in need of traveling. All the time. Everywhere. Anywhere. And why I will always need to do it to. It all came to me on those few minutes alone in the dark, waiting for the train.
There were more uncomfortable moments in that trip, some that I wouldn’t care for living again, but I am happy that I went. I truly am. Not just because of that epiphany on the train station, but for other things too. For the people I met. For the landscapes I saw. For the food I experimented. For the knowledge I acquired. For the novelty of the situations I lived.
When I saw the Arco della Pace, I didn’t know its history. Today it is a monument dedicated to peace, but it was originally a construction ordered by Napolean (not completed while he was in power) to commemorate his victories. It was the only thing I saw from Milan, and it strangely connects to me in the sense that what brought me there was not very nice, but the result was.
No travel is ever wasted, folks. Whether for work or for vacation, don’t ever let what you live at home stop you from opening yourself to what you can live outside your house. If you give yourself the chance, you just might be surprised enough to realize that you lived something incredible.
Let yourself feel it was worth it.
PS: I couldn’t make pictures when I was there (Ms. Smart here forgot the camera), so the photo illustrating this post was taken from the internet – official credits to Zosia Swidlicka.)