Travel Abroad

Miei Pensieri sul Viaggio

At work yesterday (Enterprise) one of the assistant managers, Cal spoke of the advice he received from his best friend’s grandfather; whom he clearly admires greatly.  The advice he received pertained to travel; therefore, ovviamente all ears!  Apparently, it is best to avoid traveling at a young age, i.e. 25, until one “makes it big in life.”  The grandfather, 86 years old, makes eight figures a year, and insured Cal that if he saves up his money and focuses his time on becoming rich and successful then he can better enjoy traveling and vacation when he’s older.  As Cal explained, “then I can blow fifty grand and it can be nothing.”  I understand the reasoning but could not possibly disagree more; considering my own life’s path.  I preach the impact traveling has had on my young life and can not imagine advising other young people attempting to find their place in this world to not do the same.

He continued to his second point, that it is better to wait so he can travel with someone.  The wise man advised him not to travel alone because it is less fun. There is the dividing factor, between our two viewpoints: the purpose of travel.  Instead of experiencing life as you live it, the old man has encouraged Cal to sit on the sidelines, save up and after reaching eight figures and finding that special one, to then travel.  Allora, I have traveled both solo and aside my most loved ones, Mom, Julia, Tracy, and Dad.

I understand that for many people, achieving fun is the main objective, thus traveling alone and with less money may seem pointless.  Maybe most people cannot explore an unfamiliar land alone, that idea I can imagine & recall being scary; however, ask yourself-what’s the end goal?  I believe because I have always been comfortable alone with my many passions, I lean more towards traveling solo.  Ovviamente, traveling by oneself is a challenge; it forces one to be confident and comfortable with their own company, conversations, instinct, and thoughts.

The end goal of traveling alone is clear to me, to become truly comfortable and content with oneself; seriamente, I cannot emphasize it enough!  I am grateful for my introduction to the necessary guidance in life, like Stoic philosophy (for me), instructing me that,

“a man must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.”  –Marcus Aurelius

If a person needs to rely on other people, no different than relying on material objects, then that person is lacking and will always be in need!  The ancient philosophy preaches that there is no greater peace/comfort than the company of one’s own mind; this aim is facilitated through hours and days alone during individual travel.

“We must go alone. I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

          There are clear pro’s and con’s to traveling alone and traveling with people; something I can comfortably disclose.  There have been many instances while experiencing something alone that I wish I can share the moment; take the sights of Dachau, Kotor, Auschwitz and Polignano a Mare for example, these grand moments and sights were beholden to me in those instances, alone; no body for comfort, cuddling or diversion. Traveling with my family has allowed me to experience and grow with them, adding to the wealth of memories we share together.  Perhaps my proudest memory while traveling abroad with family comes from the individual growth I saw from my mom.  Arriving to Budapest on July 3, 2016 it was her first time outside the North American continent; it was evident, she offered to pay the metro employee with U.S. Dollars in Vienna; picture J & I, in the background like what…we still laugh about this.

Her noticeable growth however, following ten days throughout Budapest, Vienna-Klagenfurt, Ljubljana-Lake Bled/Bohinj, Zagreb-Dubrovnik, was inspiring!  Collectively we faced and overcame challenges, enjoyed fond experiences, and enriched each of our lives individually; all the while growing together.  Certo, there were clear cons that I encountered when I first met them.  I had been alone, attending to my own selfish desires for thirty-two days; only me and the direction I want to go. Now suddenly, we were in open discussion of what to do.  It was difficult for me, since I became accustom to my own company.  I had to adjust, something ovviamente worthwhile doing, but it showed the difficulty that even the closest people in one’s life can add when accustom to being alone.  The combination of solo travel and with family provided me with endless joys and a greater appreciation of both.  Just make sure you know who you’re traveling with; I encountered too many people who felt were held back by friends, no matter how strong the relationship.  Many people do not and will not see eye to eye about how they want their vacation-travel to be… or life.

To return to the wise man’s point on traveling.  At 24 years old I traveled though Europe w/ roughly five grand for two months of backpack travel, including roundtrip airfare.  Since the alternative was: living out the summer in either Harrisonburg or Richmond, working, I believe I made the right decision for my own GROWTH!  The future was the driving force behind me traveling outside my comfort zone and alone; particularly chasing the image of the future me that occupies the most distant corner of my mind.  Working to become rich during my instrumental years of my twenties, or thirties, etc. does not trump the maturation of the man I know I must become.  Money certainly helps, but would ultimately amount to nothing if looking in the mirror, there is fear, regret, and disgust; I’ll aim for pride, love, contentment.

This argument can be explained with Petrarch and the mountain.  The end goal for everyone is to reach the peak, and yet what will the hiker end up valuing the most?  The breve vista from the top or the journey giu la montagna?  I am confident that I would not be the person I am today if not for the sixty days of travel throughout Europe; for me, no amount of money can outweigh my happiness with enjoying a life LIVED.  I could not imagine voiding the incredible opportunity for immense growth, just to work and save up money.  Traveling alone forced me to adapt and ultimately change for the better.  Each day brought on new life lessons, sometimes requiring me to correct certain inconvenient quirks; i.e. particulars regarding sleep, ability to endure hotter climate, overall discomfort, and anxiety about standing out; which was certainly aided by not knowing anyone!

We must rely on both oneself and the people around, while traveling alone, which builds a higher level of Self-confidence, along with a greater trust, appreciation, and kinship for fellow.  Following a six-month period of studying abroad in Italy, my belief was further cemented, travel is the key to My advancement.  Ultimately, I don’t put the blame with Cal, how is he supposed to know better?  This supposed wise man; however, is Wrong, proving one of two reasonin; if not both, he is either just incorrect, owing to a wrong belief system, or he refuses to accept & spread the truth.  How can we; anyone really with sense and a proper compass advise anyone to neglect their development and pursuit of happiness. We must ask, what’s the goal here? Do I honestly believe that Paper will make me happy?  Listen to within; not an exterior voice, dissenting from the truth!

Travel Young & Alone.