Tag Archives: Travel

Languages of Love In The Time of Unrest

Love, Amor, Yêu , Leibe.

What do all of these have in common?

They are displays of emotion. Care. Comforting.

It is natural for us as human beings to want to find it.

To be entrapped by it, surrounded by it’s warmth, yet the pursuit of it scares us to death.

The words themselves in question are able to bring anxiety, great pride, or even create a bridge towards a beautiful tomorrow. However, the power of love doesn’t truly come in the form of the words themselves. Actions speak louder than words.

As a young man who’s had the incredible privilege to travel to many different countries, I get to see how truly amazing and loving people are.

Actions of love transcend any barrier of language. Each country I’ve gone to has taken me in with open arms, whether or not I look like a local or the prized foreigner.

All across the world, people are warm, caring, charming. As simplified by the phrase “A La Orden” in Coastal Colombia. It translates to, at your service. I don’t want to go in depth into each of my experiences, but just to summarize, each country shares their best selves with the visitor, always caring and ensuring that you are having a great time, if you are comfortable, you are at home.

Back home at Merrimack, it was the smallest gestures of kindness during the cold winter days or blistering summer days, a random meal swipe by a classmate who’s name you don’t remember, a door being held open by someone you’ve never met, the long car rides to and from the pitch darkness of I-95, the deep talks over card games, and the tears shared over solidarity in weakness.

In Ireland, it was on a random night. We had a classmate who wandered off, and with the help of a security guard from our favorite bar, were able to find the classmate in a country in which we just arrived into.

In Nicaragua, it was the comfort of sharing a meal with the hosts which took us in at Mustard Seed Community and the love of the children who had nothing but smiles and hugs to offer to us outsiders.

In Vietnam, it’s the constant hospitality and efforts to speak English when people do not understand Vietnamese, the constant need to help and go give 110% despite not even knowing your name.

And now here in Colombia, every person on the street will offer to help you, each person on the street will greet you, ask you how you are, and finally, offer their home to you as a shelter during a storm or a hot day.

Love, in all forms, is something that is missing in today’s world. We cherish it so deeply, and share it and make it seem almighty and powerful, display it on full blast via our news sources, as a silver lining in what seems like a never ending storm. After hours and hours of news of war, hunger, poverty, hatred, there’s always a small snippet of people doing good, people loving each other. As if this sliver of hope is supposed to let us carry on until the next time we are fed this great news.

As the Beatles once sang, “All You Need Is Love”, while that might not be entirely true, it is a step towards a better world, one in which we can create stronger relationships and allow ourselves to define our humanity by what brings us together, rather what divides While there is still hate in our world, love has the ability to prevail. Sure, this doesn’t really help people’s perception of me as a “flower child” and a person who is naive. But I would rather be naive than cold and jaded. I find comfort in believing in a cup half full rather than convincing myself that the cup is half empty.

There’s a great childhood story about “Warm and Fuzzies” that is incredibly near and dear to my heart. It revolves around the theme of people being scared to love, scared to give themselves to others without reservation. Love costs nothing, but can be priceless to others going through a hard time. Any small action could create a ripple effect, to become a ray of sunshine on someone’s cloudy day, to inspire, to give hope. Love doesn’t have to be romantic. It’s innate in all of us, we were born to love, yet taught to be cautious and nervous. With many things, rather than to let society and media mold us and take away what makes us so special, let’s take it back into our hands. Let’s care for one another, love, and do what we can for our fellow brothers and sisters.

This Valentine’s day, maybe for us not being involved in romantic love, maybe we can start to learn the greatest love of all, the love for our fellow human, and learn to love them as we hopefully love ourselves.

I am the Traveler

Lost man’s journey or true adventures wonder.

what i cant find is what i cant see

Blind man, sour man, gone man.

 

I am the Traveler

The one who does not stay in one place,

who stays without a trace

yet longs for a home.

He does not stay for long like a paper cut in between fingers.

Stings but not for long.

Why cant he stand to stay?

 

Is it the people?

He knows once the journey resumes, they forget him

Some don’t but who writes to a man on the road?

 

Is it the places?

With such exotic beauty and diversity decay

He does not like to become a statue in such a state.

Not left to stain the ways of where he is when he could be away.

 

What is it then?

 

I am the traveler,

I move because i don’t want to be entombed,

by the people and their places.

I hate to be the stain that can not be cleaned. 

I wish to tend to my fires and have them come to me.

Its pure that way.

I give them my knowledge, in return they nurture me, feed me nourishment

So that i may travel wider and further 

To build fires for others to gather around, to kindle stories 

mountains nature sky night
Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

 

I became the traveler, 

to ease the minds

calm the hearts

and to carry on.

 

I am the traveler, for the love of the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

Get Up and Get Out

Have you ever had a real adventure?

The type that you get to experience a new thing or see a different way of life? It is exhilarating when you get to travel especially in your 20’s. You don’t have a lot that ties you down or keeps you from the adventures of the world, except one major thing…

We don’t have a lot of Money to our name.

WE are scrapping for every penny that comes our way to pay debt off or to just keep our heads afloat in a broken market. Its difficult to take the time for us to explore and get to experience new cultures and new things on a budget. What i think is that you need to take time for yourself and be free of work, however you don’t need to go that far abroad to experience something new. I think its time we explore our own country before we get our passports and start practicing our really bad Italian.

The United States has so much to offer and you don’t even need a big budget to explore the states. You honestly need a car, a few good friends and a little bit of time (Both to travel and time off from work). In my life i have been able to explore the entire Eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast all by driving with family. We were able to experience the southern cuisine, the nightlife, the experience of not freezing in the winter (Thanks Louisiana) and basically getting me out of my comfort zone very early on in life. I know there are numerous other places in the United States i want to go to, like the Midwest to go see pond Hockey, or the southwest to see the Grand Canyon, or even more of California to catch the legendary Rose Bowl game (and maybe even the rose bowl parade). The point is there are so many different states we can venture to without even leaving the states.

However, i think going abroad young is still unique because there is some certain excitement traveling abroad by yourself for the first time.

If you are looking for a different point of view, going abroad is your answer, it is just in my opinion that you should rethink where you go o. Go somewhere where not every 20 something goes like Ireland and Italy (or at least go for a different reason than to be a drunk American abroad)be different and avoid the tourist traps. Go some where in Europe like Germany or Poland, Finland, Iceland, etc somewhere it is uncommon to travel to, somewhere that you don’t hear traditional american tourist like to huddle around. I hope to, in the near future, to go over to Europe and go into the northern parts like Norway and Sweden, i think that’s the right way around for a guy like me. However, i still think you should go to places like Ireland and Italy, just not for the reason of getting hammered. Learn the culture the history the reason they are who they are today. Especially if you descend from the countries, make it a heritage walk and learn from your families past.

All in all you don’t need to spend money to make a good vacation or time away you can enjoy it close to home.

Just make the effort to get up and get out

The Future and The Global Citizen

It is not just my opinion but my firm belief that everyone should have a chance to travel. Sadly this is not the case.

I think there is a certainty to experiencing the world – not just beyond your backyard but in it as well. When it comes to seeing this world, explorations begin at home. They begin with you going out the back, front or side door and smelling something you have never smelled (within reason – obviously don’t smell your neighbors or what have you) or stepped on a patch of grass you haven’t stepped on before.

While I will admit that most of my greatest adventures happened abroad, some of the most memorable happened here, at home, or where ever home was at the time.

This includes, cross country runs with friends – exploring waterfalls or streams – and getting my moms car stuck in a road where I was definitely not supposed to be because I was looking for a space that made me feel connected to anything other than my head.

See for me being globally aware starts at home, it starts by serving others, it starts by getting out of your own way and learning something new because America may think it is the best country in the world but our record incarceration, murder rates and low levels of intelligence compared to competitors in Europe prove that we need to make a change.

Change starts when you travel, it starts when you listen to news on your morning commute, and saying yes to a colleagues presentation. Change starts when our world gets bigger, and when we become global citizens.

At the end of the day, you don’t need to see the world to be a global citizen, but you do have to experience it. You have to speak to people, read stories, share histories and be dedicated to living in and beyond your backyard.

It is not just my opinion but my firm belief that everyone should have a chance to travel. Sadly this is not the case – but my hope is that one day we will all find ourselves beyond the place were in, and if we have learned something new along the way, or met someone new in the process, well then I think we can all make this world a little bigger and a little brighter.