People always ask, “What is the occasion for this trip?” And while I can easily think of many worthy purposes to tell them, I have always believed travel was not something that needs to be justified. While society seems to view travel as a gift you give to yourself, I view it rather as an investment that pays off in dividends (metaphorically, of course.) If you travel correctly, always return better for it. In the past, I have spent my last dollar while romping abroad (literally), deboarding stateside with nothing but a suitcase to my name -but certainly no regrets either. Returning home revived with a fresh perspective and a mind stimulated with new culture has always been worth every penny.
In short, my justification is that there is no jusitifcation. If you can travel, you should. Always. Funds can always be replenished, but time is the only resource you cannot restore. When life so graciously allows you time, just go, and you will find way to make it work.
Currently, my life is at a transitionary period, which will hopefully take exciting new leaps in the near future. I have no idea what a year from now will bring. Will my career allow the time off? Will I have a mortgage to keep up with? For today, I have very few limitations – no children, no pets, no boss to answer to and no yard to mow. I am uniquely blessed with a brief intercession of downtime, which is a pleasant diversion from the supersonic speed my life generally moves at. So when my boyfriend asked me on a whim, “do you want to go to Eastern Europe?” – it did not require much consideration to say “yes!” It is not a particularly sensible time to travel. This was not enormously planned. It was not forecasted and our destinations are not even ones that I have ever seriously considered exploring in the past. All of this makes the journey I am about to embark on all the more exciting.
As I sit here and write my first blog entry of the trip, I feel a familiar exhilieration amidst the many unpleasantries of NYC airports. (I am currently sitting on dingy carpet due to a lack of seats, recovering from the trauma of an hour -long stint in security, and now eating a cold bagel) And yet, I have a hard time harboring annoyance. Instead, I feel euphoria for the adventure that awaits. We will see if I am still so chipper and tolerant after overnight travel, but for now, we are off. Next stop – Budapest, Hungary!
ps -I promise, my coming posts will be more interesting with less rambling and more photos. I figured it would be an appropriate time for a preface, since I doubt anyone wants to see pictures of me in sweatpants in the outdated international terminal of Newark.
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