A young man travels in search of adventure, in search of tales, tall if at all, to tell back home. It’s a quest for personal glory. There is also romance, the search for beautiful women, for the luxuries of life and for triumph over difficult situations. What are traveller’s tales but our maps to ourselves?
Why do we travel?
A quest, a search for someone or something? But some of us just are running away. At the end of the travels, we find just what we were trying so hard to leave behind and we realize that we’ve been carrying it within us all along. That, indeed, we’re trying so very hard to hide from ourselves and finally, that the further we go, the nearer we come to ourselves. Because a traveller knows, that no matter how light you travel, you always carry your mind with you.
In a new situation, where no one knows you, you can be whoever you want. Anonymity is the opportunity to create a new identity. And then comes along someone who knows you. Some titbit of news and the opening notes of a familiar song. With it, a growing feeling of panic and relief rolled into one.
Panic as the fear of being pulled back into whatever the old identity most threatened. Relief at finding out that, uncomfortable as it was, being you is the only home there is.
Epilogue: I read this at the Caferati Open Mic event at Prithvi today. Some pieces are better read than read out aloud and I realized mine probably fall in the former.
Those of you who have been following my blog adventures will probably see in a minute that this piece has less to do with any tangible travel and more about my own personal journey from anonymity to…identity, perhaps?
For the record, two people showed some appreciation – a good friend and a stranger who kept looking at me before I read and then asked me out to coffee after I had finished. No further comment.