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.”

― Terry Pratchett


“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.”

― Mark Twain


“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”

― Anita Desai


Posted by:twobrownfeet

Writer-Photographer Duo. Now in Seoul.

31 replies on “In Search of New Horizons

  1. I have to say there is no right answer, and that there are common answers to certainly questions given that some of us share similar perceptions and backgrounds. Really like the Anita Desai quote you shared. Where we go, we learn and we take lessons along with us towards our next step and next chapter. A part of us may die, but also it is a part of growing and rebirth, improving ourselves. Keep traveling Cheryl. The world is always a much bigger place than we think. Hope hiking goes well for you next year.

  2. I love your writing Cheryl, it’s so evocative and you often seem to write what’s often on my mind but can’t seem to put into writing. I was only talking, a very in depth conversation with my 15yo son today about our purpose and meaning of life (deep I know). Beautiful post my friend and I wish you all the best in wherever your feet lead you in 2017. xo

    1. Thanks so much, Miriam. I’ve been meaning to write a post on a similar theme for a while. When I finally got to writing it — I took a very different route though. 🙂 Your writing is equally evocative. We may have different styles, but the emotion comes out and that’s what counts. I truly enjoy your style and your posts fill me with hope and joy! It’s so easy to sink into the negative. Your son is fortunate to have a wonderful mum like yourself. My mum inspires me everyday and shapes who I am. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment, Miriam. Truly means a lot, my friend! xo

      1. What a beautiful comment Cheryl. Thank you. And how wonderful to have a mum who inspires you so much. She must be very proud of you. Big hugs to you my friend. xo

      2. Aww! You know how to make my day. My mum is proud of me (I’m not sure why), though she’s never read our blog. Mums’ know just when to support you and when to critique you. There’s no fooling mum! As the saying goes, mum knows best! Haha! Sending you hugs back. 🙂 Love chatting with you!

      3. Me too! It’s interesting because virtually no one in my family reads my blog either. They know I have it but have never really been overly interested. Guess it doesn’t really better though it has become a big part of who I am. And you’re right, there’s no fooling us mums! 😊 xo

      4. Haha! I force my siblings to read posts by sending links! It works sometimes. Basil looks at the images and comments. 🙂 True. The blog reflects who we are and becomes a part of us — over a period of time. 🙂 x0

      5. Haha That’s a good way to get them to read it. Neither my sister or brother are big into social media so I don’t bother! xo

  3. I enjoy your thought provoking posts, Cheryl and equally the chosen quotes. In the sense that we’re richer for travel experiences and the layers it gives to a homecoming; the who we are gets interwoven with the where we’re from. An aspiration of life’s journey in bridging the divides of language, culture, race and just reaching out as fellow human beings must be one of it’s richest rewards; keeping the dialogue open…

    1. Thanks so much, Liz! This topic has been on my mind for a very long time. The news these days doesn’t help much. But, I wanted to stay optimistic, and I’m so glad to have found like-minded thinkers. “The who we are gets interwoven with the where we’re from.” This is such a beautiful line and the essence of my post. Couldn’t agree more and yes, we must keep the dialogue open…

  4. I love the quote that a thousand miles journey starts with a single step…it’s sometimes hard to keep eyes on the end goal, but the harder it gets, the bigger the satsfaction once you are there… and it is ok to have the inner battle along the way, to slow down or choose a different route… this is how we learn… great post, and photos 🙂

  5. Dunno where you find all these great quotes, Cheryl, and I can identify with every single one of them. As the year comes to an end, I hope you will continue to put those two brown feet to good use and step on to many more marvellous, exciting and faraway places!

  6. Life is a constant search for our true selves. Though perhaps we create those selves more than we discover them, both in life and in our journeys. Wishing you many lovely new horizons in the coming year.

      1. haha! A post (on that photo) is coming pretty soon. Not been as quick with my posting these days. 😦 It’s called ‘Sunrise Peak’, in Jeju – an island off the coast of South Korea. 🙂

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