Nearly one year ago, I was leaving London to brave the wild, wild southern hemisphere. Now the year has passed, and this little one must return from whence he came.
St Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. Like any books, some chapters are more interesting than others. Some are filled with joys and some are filled with horrors. Ultimately, however, we cannot ever predict what the next page has in store for us. Perhaps that’s why everything is so exciting.
I always fear that whenever I write about traveling I recycle ideas from past posts without even realizing. We come to many realizations that, due mostly to our busy lives, we end up forgetting. If traveling resurrects those ideas, at the cost of plagiarizing myself, then it is all worth it.
Who we are is defined by our experiences. They make or break us – from emotional baggage due to ruinous relationships to the blessing of real, deep friendships. When traveling, I think one can see a lot of himself that is hidden in day to day life. I think that it helps us find ourselves the same way it helped Flaubert fully understand his fascination with the Orient: “I have found, clearly delineated, everything that was hazy in my mind”.
Travelling, for me, is a conquest. It is the ultimate intellectual challenge. It is the only arena where you actually have to transfer all those skills, all that intellect, all that charm, to conquer the real challenges of life. As Goethe said: “I hate everything that merely instructs me without augmenting or directly invigorating my activity”.
A short break to the busy life of a law student – which I dutifully make associated with the minimum effort to accomplish anything. Judo, like many martial arts, teaches us that it is not about doing a technique – it’s about doing it with as little energy as possible. I like to generally use that same mentality with most of the things I don’t really want to do (such as essays on the donation of frozen gametes).
Distance has this unique quality of destroying some relationships whilst enforcing others. As the world becomes more and more global, however, I find the concept of distance to be increasingly misleading. Whenever you have a friend come over, though, it always become an opportunity/excuse to go and eat out! (also, this place is, by my standards, the best dumpling place in Melbourne).
You spend hours and hours researching and sussing out where to eat, where to go for drinks, what time to leave and everything else. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong believer that good times need good plans. But it is always so nice when you find an amazing place by accident. It just makes your day. This is such a story.
As our complicated, complex lives go on and on, people have a tendency to forget the vital role that little things have in the machinery of our existence. How a moment of calm in an endless sea of stress and work provides for the sustenance our minds need to go own: a kind gesture of a stranger, a well made coffee, a random sign that our mind interprets as life/God/fate telling us to go on.
From the backlogs of my brain and the back streets of Melbourne comes this exploration of desolation, burned down houses and forgotten children – mostly prompted by a queer fascination that Daniel has for deserted buildings.