I shared these words from Craig Mod a year ago today. But since then we made the choice to uproot our life in Australia, move to Mexico, then leave Mexico, travel around the USA and Europe for a while, and come home to Australia in a month’s time.
I can guarantee I’m coming home changed, but like Craig, I’m also more confused than ever about why some people travel. I mean no judgement towards any of you, but I’ve been in Italy for a month now and it seems such a waste to leave in a few weeks. Even considering my feeling that I’ve barely seen or experienced anything, I still have a deeply resonating feeling that I’m selfishly taking in the culture here, and to do what with it? Just to give the girls a childhood photo album that was cooler than mine?
The romantic ideal of travel is to leave as one version of yourself and return another, changed, ‘better’ version of yourself. This trip changed me, but not in the ways you might classically expect. I’ve returned suspicious of travel, more confused than ever about why so many people travel. Unsure if most travel of the last few decades makes sense, or has ever made sense or justified the cost. It feels like some consumerist, uncurious notion of travel was seeded long ago and, like a zombie fungus, has mind-controlled everyone to four specific canals in Venice. To a single painting at the Louvre. To three streets and a square in Manhattan. To a few rickety back alleys around Gion. An eminently photogenic set of torii in Kyoto.
Regardless of my, and Craig’s, trepidations of travel being an unjustified expense or impact, I’m forever changed by 2020-2022’s travel-related traumas and 2023’s travel adventure.