There’s a click between us because we have traveled.
Almost everybody identifies with something in their heart, something they think of everyday and can talk endlessly about with another person who identifies with the same in their heart.
Traveling, if you let it, changes your worldview. Things stick with you. You’re exposed to an infinite amount sensations on complex levels that end up changing your life and when you return home, you keep searching for it.
What is “it”?
“It” is different for everyone and it’s what travelers are stuck with figuring out when returning home. Reverse culture shock takes a hold of your mind and the only person who can understand you is another traveler. That’s why it clicks. You share the infinite, complex levels of your experiences from a place of emotional despair with someone. You’re almost forced (and want) to be vulnerable with someone who cares the same way you do.
The following is a conversation from my Facebook wall between my friend Sheila and I. We met through Spanish class about the time her then fiancee came to the U.S. from Venezuela so they could get married.
Sheila: I have a feeling you’d know this feeling: the feeling that your heart is racing restlessly just to hear a foreign tongue, one that you don’t know and you must strain to learn. The feeling that home soil simply cannot possibly contain you- not because there’s anything wrong with it - but because it’s simply home. I feel like a fish out of water in my own country. Do you know this feeling, Sara? I sometimes envy my hubby because this isn’t his land. lol
Me: I feel like I’m anticipating a run. Like the race hasn’t started yet but my I’m on my tip toes and my heart is intense with suspense. Intensely anticipating something new and different, adventure and action. I have no idea where the race is going and I don’t care, I just want to go. I understand the excitement and seemingly exaggerated interest when you hear someone speaking a different language. It symbolizes another culture you want to explore and suddenly I want to know everything about them. It’s a reminder of how little time I have to explore, that no matter how fast I run I will never finish. I also feel like a fish out of water, and it’s forced me to connect with people on a deeper level that transcends these earthly identities because, I don’t know if you feel this way, but I do not feel American. I just feel like a part of humanity as a whole. Just different.
Sheila: Oh believe me I feel exactly like that. Not anti-American, but not American.
I feel separated from American culture and am aware of what outfits I wear look more American than others. My experience has been that the more you travel, the more you identify with these temporary places and the less you identify with your original, seemingly permanent identity, like American. Or maybe it’s just … the more people you meet and grow to love, the more you identify on deeper levels than with the place you live.
You experience life and sensations no matter where you are on complex levels all the time. Hopefully you have someone in your life you feel like you can share that with. Life, connection, excitement, and passion are not exclusive to people who experience cultures other than their own. Adventure is something you create, not do. Learning is a state of mind, not something that requires an “out of this world” experience to grow from. Passion comes from your heart and if it’s true passion, it’s boundless.
The above, seemingly exclusive, traveling experience, can happen to anyone. Anybody (and hopefully everybody) can have an experience that changes their worldview and search for something, someone, to connect with, to be vulnerable with.
There’s a click between us because we love.
I really don’t have a point to this post. I’m just kind of rambling, and I know everyone is different and may not relate to anything I say. That’s fine, I understand that. They’re thoughts that have been floating around a lot since I went to the Millennium Collegiate Conference (MCC) a couple weeks ago. That spurred questions of when and how am I going to be involved with international development in my life. I have also been blessed with amazing community and loved ones in my life. If I didn’t have others who shared what I have in my heart, I’m not sure how I would have the energy to continuously share my heart with others.