What Travel Means Series – Week #4

Hello and welcome to week 4 of the of guest authors. As I mentioned here, the authors are friends of mine, people I know and like. I asked them to sum up in their own words and style what travel means to them and a favourite place (or two).
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I owe Couchsurfing a great deal when it comes to meeting amazing people. Today’s guest blogger is still another friend I made through Vancouver’s Couchsurfing community. Rolla Stevens is a wonderful soul and a very well-rounded traveler. I wish I had gotten to know her better before she moved…though I guess I will just have to visit her. You can read more about her travels and experiences at her blog – The Secrets In My Suitcase.
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What do my travels mean to me?

I could sit here cracking my skull looking for that awe-inspiring and creative answer.   The truth is that travelling can be both blissful and torturous.   I have been in situations I would never put myself in again!!! Those very same situations I would never undo.  They are some of the best things that have happened to me. That’s what an adventure is by definition.

The person I am today is the result of all of my wandering.   I found the capacity to learn, to appreciate all the things I have and go after the ones I don’t.  I dream bigger than ever and in some ways live simpler.  I have gone further than I ever imagined but all of my belongings fit inside a suitcase.

I discovered my own narrow thinking patterns and I find ways to enlighten myself all the time.  Since I started on this adventure, I have found people I can love of all different backgrounds.  Those very same people were able to offer me that kind of love in return…accepting me for all that I am and everything I am not.  It comes with the territory. Seeing differences in culture and people and accepting them has everything to do with REALLY EXPERIENCING travelling.

When you travel, you discover that some countries do some things better than yours does. For example, public transportation in European cities put Canada to shame.  The nightlife in Madrid is a force to be reckoned with and talking to strangers is less unusual. They have history and traditions.

You also discover all of your own country’s beauty and strengths. Even though you may have the distant knowledge that things are different elsewhere, when you experience it, you feel it and live it with an infinite amount of passion… it really means something.
I miss Canada’s cultural diversity.  Had I not left, I never would have known how beautiful and exceptional that is (even though it isn’t perfect).  Canada is safe and free.  I have lived in places where I didn’t have those privileges…now I know that those things are in fact privileges.  These may all sound like clichés but they are the words from my heart, the deepest part of my soul.  I hope that my personal journey never ends!!!!

Rolla

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