The evolution of the New York skyline… it fascinates me. It consumes me. New York is the escape. I can feel it in the tingles I get just thinking about it. New York, new me. Too many people, yet so much silence. So much silence, yet so much noise. The paradoxical city intrigues me. It is the hub, yet everyone is so lonely. Though really no one is alone, because the city itself loves every single person. It avails itself of nooks and crannies, perfect for every individual. It loves you, even as it tortures you. It is a steel jungle, and it is the predatory lion. If you prove yourself, you are one of them, one of the few. Yet so many perish. It is a race to money, a race to understanding, a race to success. In my dreams, I find myself lost, winding through its structured streets, smiling at everyone’s frowns.
The great sense of accomplishment and loss in the great ruins of Pompeii and Machu Picchu call to me. To stand amongst the old with the new waiting behind me, to see the fall of the past great cultures, to understand the inevitability of change and our own fleeting lives, it is an experience I desire more strongly than anything else. I want to stand where they stood, to see what they saw. It’s our own brand of time travel. Whilst the world has moved on and grown, expanded and changed, they have remained still, watching, waiting. It simultaneously makes me see the insignificance and the vast importance of our lives. We fall as others rise, and our names are forgotten as time goes on, but we form the foundation of the future in the ruins of another’s past.
Travel has always called to me. Whether it was the stressful beauty of New York or the space to lose oneself in the ruins of a city past, I have always felt a strong pull towards the rest of the world.
For me, travel is not an escape. It is what I am waiting for. There is so much beauty around the world. I am not someone who could settle for knowing only the place I was born, the place I live in. I feel a seemingly innate desire to know other cultures and other ways of life.
My sense of adventure and my overwhelming wanderlust is not something that can be satisfied by a trip to the usual tourist sites around the world. Although I would love to see the well-known attractions – the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids, Big Ben – I would not be content or feel fulfilled if I only operated within the privileged circles I have grown up in.
I do want to help others and I want to know the full scope of the human condition.
There is so much about travel that makes you realise that there is something bigger than you. Not a greater power, but a greater connection existing between the human race. Although we have the extremes of poverty and greed, of malnutrition and obesity, we are intertwined. Every person, no matter race, religion or gender, has changed the world just by being in it.
I want to meet as many people as I can. I want to know their stories, their intricacies, their problems. I want to know why they get up in the morning and what makes them smile. I want to know about their heartbreaks and their accomplishments.
I think the mistake of individualistic cultures is to think that we are here to change the world. I think that the world is here to change us. I need to travel. I need to be moulded by experience and I need to understand other cultures and ways of life.
We are connected.