Marcel Proust once said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." This is the story of that voyage: nearly drowning in the search for those landscapes but emerging, buoyant, with an augmented range of view.
You’ve travelled 8,000 miles. You hear foreign languages. They aren’t a lingua franca of your host country. Some faces are familiar, some more alien. Yet these masks don’t constitute the constituents of this land. You stroll the city. Is this the adventure into the exotic that you imagined?
An ode to the man who acquainted me with travel, and not only stretched the experience of my physical existence, but connected me with my past and gave me the tools necessary to create my future: my present as it exists today.
Appearances matter. People make all sorts of judgements, conjectures and conclusions based on looks. At times they can be slightly misleading. The key is to not get too caught up in the superficial… unless you're judging a café by the quality of their latte.
Embarrassment. I have felt this emotion after finding myself surrounded by compatriots who conduct themselves below appropriate levels of civility. When abroad, it can be helpful to connect with fellow expats; often it can be easy to build a rapport as you share many commonalities. Though you’ve just met, there is a certain level of familiarity. But what happens when things get too familiar?
As I kid I was interested in trains, trolleys too. Anything that had a track. Who wasn’t all about "Thomas & Friends"? I would religiously watch the show, was familiar with all of the characters and even had my own toy car from the show (which is still lodged in a radiator at my childhood home). When I watched Mr. Rodgers I always wondered where the trolley actually went.