As a child, I’d look up at the sky and try to imagine what lies beyond the sea of blue. And, on occasion, even think, where did we all come from? As an adult, I often wonder, when someone asks me, where I come from, is it, who I am, is what they really want to know. Or is it the life that I’ve lead, or the people that I’ve met, or the the places that I’ve seen that intrigues them. Or the books that I read, or the bad choices that I made, or the battles that I lost, is what they want to hear about? Or do they only want to know who my ancestors chose to follow or which place they chose to call home?
Having lived a multiple stories, on multiple travel journeys, I’ve often wondered, what would be the right answer for either question. Having lost a little of me, on every journey, only to find something new about me, I wonder if I had the right answer. Maybe, there is no right answer. We believe the truth we want to hear. Submit to what we choose to see. And ignore, anything else, that doesn’t fit the framework of the limited truth that we are exposed to.
Some of the best friendships, that I’ve made, didn’t hinge on common ancestery or organised belief. Common interest was all that mattered. And in the days of the internet and with armchair travelling; we all have a chance to see the world through new eyes. We all have a chance to lose a little of the old us. Keep the dialogue open, remember our pasts, as we search foolishly for new horizons — hopelessly falling short and yet optimistic that we’ll get there someday.
Sometime back, I saw two one-year-olds interact, with each other, for the first time. They shared little in common, in terms of, where they came from. At first, they stared at each other, then caressed each other’s cheeks, measured their baby feet, almost poked one another in the eye, and finally, mutually agreed with a strange gurgling sound that they were indeed — the only two little feet — in a room filled with big feet. From that moment, the adult world disappeared for them. Only the two of them mattered to each other. And for me, observing like a disbelieving outsider, I felt a flicker of hope, that we will someday learn to think like children.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
― Lao Tzu
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”