When I put on my first pair of glasses for the first time as a teenager, it was like I had a revelation. Things that were previously a blur now appeared clearly, and I could see the details of the physical world with ease – the math formula on the blackboard, the strands of fur on a cat, the intricate petals of a flower, even the wrinkles on someone’s face …
For me, travelling is like wearing that pair of glasses. But it’s not necessarily those physical details I notice more; it’s the heart and soul that feels through a different lens that is blown away by an initially unfamiliar environment. An increased awareness notices a set of profound thoughts and delicate emotions within, intangible objects one cannot see or touch, which rise to the surface and make me appreciate the simple fact that my heart is beating, that I am feeling, that I am among incredible beauty in this world. I feel like it’s LIFE that I see more clearly.
“It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Excerpt from Le Petit Prince.
One year ago today (1 May), I left home in Canada to embark on my journey of journeys. I learned early on to follow my heart and resolved to follow my own path and not be confined to live a certain way based on perceived norms of society.
314 days out of the last year and 30 countries later, I’m still going strong and continue to be astounded that what was for so long only a dream continues to be my reality.
It’s been a veritable roller coaster, often fun and funny and at times downright terrifying, but one where I’ve dictated where to go and allowed myself to ascend to new heights, not to mention overcoming some very low times. From the outset, I already knew that it was going to be awesome. But I could not possibly have predicted the specific encounters I’d come across that truly showed me how magical life could be. With a strange precision, my path has often converged with others who have shared part of my journey, even if sometimes only for a fleeting instant.
What beauty that I’ve met people who have given me such positivity, new ideas, love and warmth, hospitality and generosity to degrees I don’t deserve. Invisible and intangible, they fill my heart.