Something changes in us during the journey, Some elusive component we can't see though we know present as we set sales. This nameless emotion makes us more self-forgiven, it enables us to see ourselves as braver, to recognize more opportunities, and to be less afraid of our past repeating itself.
It's not just the feeling of temporality - although it pushes our desire to embrace beauty longer and to make ourselves better - and it's not just the fulfillment that comes after successfully overcoming uncertainties - although it allows us to examine our meanings of life.
It seems to intensify as we align ourselves with what excites us, inspires us, pleases us, and quiets us. It's as if an almost uncontrollable force requires us to deepen our understanding of reality and of what we call monumental cultural truths. It seems to compel us to realize that we are now living in what we will soon call nostalgia.
Río Dulce, Guatemala. 2012
It changes something in us because we put our happiness first during the journey, allowing us to learn how to live and live in the present without being too dependent on future concerns. Because during our travels, we are no longer afraid that someone will discover we don't know the way, we understand it is only a matter of time until we find it. It changes something in us because during the journey, we believe in our ability to learn, and with that, we can see that security without freedom is a prison.
Perhaps the ability to truly understand this change is to witness his manifestations. In our quiet attempts to better understand our challenges, in our conscious endeavors to lighten our backpacks, in moments when we look back, shed a tear, and make promises to ourselves.
I think what is actually changing us is the growing internalization that we are willing to pay the price - the possibility that we will lose what we left behind. To lose those we once saw as "friends" (even as loved ones), to lose the ability to return to our "regular jobs", to lose the closest recognition of normality.
The attempt to define it, to understand it, to catch it in its elusiveness, is the very thing that sustains it. It's our quest to discover our answers with our own eyes. It's our persistent pursuit of new horizons. It's our growing acceptance of the point of no return, of the moment it becomes impossible to return to our previous lives, where it becomes impassable to live for anyone else but ourselves.
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