My it’s been a long time since I’ve last written here. I like to think that inspiration comes when you can take a break and push away from the norm and the daily routine. I wrote about the human experience in my last post and continue to allow those interactions in my daily life to flourish. I hope they are flourishing in yours as much as they are in mine. In a world where hyper-connectivity is the norm in developed, Westernized countries, and communication to one another is made simple by one touch of a fingertip, we forget that the most important developments of human interaction and hope to the progress of humanity is made by simply meeting and sharing. In the past four months, I’ve visited and traveled to small towns in New York (yes, they exist), the dripping facades of artistic mastery and high-fashion city of Florence, the crisp and colorful fragrance of the Tuscan countryside, the romantic mystery of Verona, the maze of blue lagoons and small alleyways of Venice –a scenery that quite fits a romantic thriller–and Rome, the most beautiful, vibrant, and enchanting city of them all. It is no wonder literary geniuses were inspired here.
Traveling alone requires a lot of self-confidence, cultural acceptance and awareness, the ability to adapt to change and the unknown, and most importantly, an optimism towards immersing yourself with the new, the different, and the possible. Many people ask how I conjure up the courage to do this and the answer is really simple: Life is short. Seek the truths, discover the beauty, and the stories of people in our world. I promise you that a life rich of experiences and cultural awareness instead of material possessions, will bring you a happiness words can’t express in your lifetime. Our world is so rich of many things waiting to be discovered, and yet we consume ourselves in technology and completely miss the “real-experience” part.
While I would agree that technology has helped advance our societies and freely inform us of things we would never thought possible, technology could never recreate or simulate the real human experience that is felt when you surrender to adventure, love, and the unknown. How would it react to the unknown? An algorithm or pre-calculated equation could not possibly or accurately predict the outcomes, because predicting the outcomes would be to miss the point of life entirely. Perhaps the best way to enjoy life and be educated by it is to travel and seek the things you do not know or have yet to experience. You do not always have to hop on a plane to another country, instead, a journey down the unbeaten path where city-dwellers or local know-it-all’s don’t go, may be the best way to learn and come out a better person.
I left for Italy about two weeks ago and have returned to San Francisco with much more appreciation for food, technology, art, and gelato. Believe me, the gelato (and just about everything you tasted in Italy) is the most delicious, most holiest thing I’ve ever tasted. It really is unbeatable, and I will never have a scoop of ice cream from else where. Just before my evening flight to Zurich, I couldn’t help but think how surreal it was that I was traveling. Sometimes it doesn’t really hit me that I’ll be in another country until I get my servings of airplane food–yum!
The plane soared through the starry night sky as passengers around me slept. I love flying at night for one reason: it’s the only chance you get to see and be closer to thousands of stars dangling around you from 30,000 feet high. So if you’re looking to see something beautiful or maybe enjoy your plane trip for a change, book an evening flight. You’ll wake up truly captivated. So as we flew across time zones and star-filled skies, I looked out through my window in amazement, took a deep breath of air, and surrendered to the feeling that adventure and travel give you–freedom, comfortability with uncertainty, and a chance to discover the beauty of this world.
We landed in Zurich about 8 hours later. As I sat waiting to board my connecting flight to Rome, I closed my eyes and listened to the many different languages being spoken around me. It was like listening to an orchestral symphony of languages all interacting with different inflections and sounds. The “schs” and “zees” or “iano’s” reminded me of why I love traveling. Traveling constantly reminds you that difference is the one thing that unites us all. Difference is what makes us unique and beautiful in this world. To immerse yourself in something different, as well as contribute your own difference to society and people, is the best possible gift you can give to humanity and to ourselves. Surround yourself around culture, because culture itself, is the existence of beauty and art. Someone recently wrote in an article in The Economist that, “people create culture and vice versa”. If we could create a better culture of people and culture in general, then surrender yourself to the unknown and immerse your soul, mind, and thoughts into differences and the stories of people we meet.
I’ll leave this with a quote from the Holstee Manifesto:
“Travel often. Getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”
Go on, discover and share. Play with abandon.