By Josephine Wawira
We all have distinctive understanding and interpretation of travel; depending on our background, inquisitive characteristics and a gallivant eye. While most may be similar renditions, there is always that unique aspect of what travel means to each of us. Why would you leave the comfort of your cozy home to go around the world in what sometimes are seemingly the most exasperating encounters? Even more astonishing, why quit a considerably lucrative job to spend your life savings globe-trotting? For me, an adventurous experience is simple; at least if not for the rest of my life, for that time when my whole being is intoxicated by the idea of travel.
Often, I get questions on whether traveling is part of my interests, perhaps because of the nature of what I do. Then, I have gotten accustomed to the next possible question ‘how many countries/places have you been to?’. Depending on my response, the questioner is always left to decide whether am truly a traveler or not. You see, I may not have traveled to as many destinations as would qualify me to be called a wanderlust, well depending on each one’s interpretation of travel; yet in any sense I assert that traveling for me is not about how many miles I cover. An ace traveler will agree with me that whether it’s an hour’s drive to the city next door or a 10 hours’ flight to the other corner of the world, traveling is simply the ability to move to a place you want to explore for one reason or another.
In this case, I may be traveling to my rural hometown to pay homage to my folks, honoring a friend’s invitation to be with them during an important event in their lives in a nearby city or a business trip to an overseas country; for me, a step away from my normal environs for whatever reason is an epic move to travel. Recently, a friend left the country (Kenya) to Cape Town for a business trip. However, I was completely beguiled by his ability to juggle the busy schedule and time to indulge in pleasurable activities such as a shopping spree, something that made him a freely happy gentleman. And his excuse? “I only carried a toothbrush and paste”. Such ability to bleisure is not only a relaxing ice-breaker, but also goes a long way in enabling me enjoy every meaning of travel.
Travel, the most thrilling exposure I know with so much freedom and novelty. Away from home, is where I have encountered some of my most important life journeys and personal growth. Where I have seen the richness of culture, created golden friendships, had some of my most hearty laughters and appreciated the true unconditional love from humanity. This is my rendition of travel.