Unfamiliar Territory

Discussing what self-exploration via travel is really, honestly like.

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Travel is no dreamlike existence. It is beautiful, liberating and full of wonder. Yes, the people, the places, the experiences are ones which are beautifully unique. But you are completely alone and the outer world is separate from you: impenetrable, shallow and limited in scope. With this loneliness comes both solitude and the deepest sorrow. It will never be what you imagined it to be; the predefined outcomes you expect; the perceived “lightness” associated with wandering from place to place.

Choi Mi Kyung
Choi Mi Kyung

There are no distractions any more. As soon as you are alone and isolated, you drown in raw emotions and baggage. Heartbreak that you thought you left behind returns in full force. Travel like this is fucking difficult. Hence, there is a cliché returned countrymen use: “I thought travel would help me solve my problems but instead I found out it was a mere escape”. Such individuals return home and expect answers there, through people or situations. They have always known full well they will go back home, as certainty and limitations are comforting. They know there is obligation waiting for them. I personally think it is a cop-out.

Audrey Kawasaki
Audrey Kawasaki

The sheer power of ridding yourself layers of distraction and exposing all there is of you, is enough to drive you mad. Do you know what it’s like? It is like being that guy in the true story film Into the Wild. Well, this is surely the wild. The deep connections of absent lovers and friends keep you from breaking down completely, whether it be for guidance or company. Not to mention the pressure of getting a steady income flow to keep you from cutting your journey short gives you really shit anxiety. It is a daily battle. You know though, deep down, this is what you need. You no longer want to feel conflicted all of the time. So tired. So accommodating. So used. So full of nothing. In a state of constant recovery.

Roman Tolici - Accident in Amzei Square
Roman Tolici

I admit, I spend most days indoors healing wounds. I have a daily cry. I do not know if I will be able to overcome my issues or if I might overthink and over-feel, until I slip into an abyss of insanity. But I know I don’t want to cover myself up. I am shattered and vulnerable. But with pure intention. Even if I drive myself into a hot sticky mess, I know one day I will awake; I will be alive and OK. I believe I do not have limits. The thing that would drive me insane is the fear which tries to take over. When do we ever give ourselves the time we need to be completely honest and accepting on our own, without influence? When are we not influenced?

Nathalie Seifeter
Nathalie Seifeter

If I hold on tight to the magic of truth, of my strength and curiousity to keep me opening up and taking it in, maybe hope will pierce through more of these holes. Maybe love will come aide me selflessly and effortlessly and I will have no need to depend on it. And self-sufficiency. And later, I may feel ready to move forward with my ambitions without feeling like I have to achieve a certain benchmark before truly living. Instead, being satisfied with my life and being present.

Felice House
Felice House

My biggest fear is to regret not pushing myself beyond the level of comfort. Of familiarity and of dependence. I refuse to be weak. I do not want it to be easy… I have had that already. If it takes a year… or two, so be it. I know this is the only path for me to take. I am not here for happiness and fulfillment. I am here to adapt; to cope; to confront my problems; to embrace my flaws; to discover peace in solitude. I am here to be myself. I believe that it will get clearer as I go. I carry with me hope, knowing the outcomes are beyond familiarity. I take this newfound hope with me, as I step over the edge.

3 thoughts on “Unfamiliar Territory”

  1. Beautiful piece, Laura, so deep and honest, I really enjoyed reading it. May your journey lead you to finding ‘the real you’, not ‘the you in love’ or ‘the you aspiring’ but you that is complete, perfect in the imperfections and you that treats every new day of your life like a bonus, a gift that needs to be treasured and appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

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