The Community of Travel

There’s something that takes your breath away when you lay eyes on mighty waves crashing into the shore in an effortless yet rhythmic way.  Even seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time is surreal because it’s plastered all over Pinterest, posters and purses before you even achieve that France stamp in your passport.  The foreign and the unknown allure and draw us into a world we’ve never experienced.  Even more, these sites and monuments draw us into the world beyond ourselves.  Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

My grandpa recently sent my dad some old photos from the 1970s.  And I always love looking at old family photos and making fun of my dad’s ridiculously short shorts and dated hairstyles.  But these photos were of family vacations my dad took as a child to London, Paris and Rome—three cities I toured in my European adventure two summers ago.  And these photos intrigued me immensely.  My aching feet walked on the same ground my dad did about decades before I came into existence.  He posed maybe 15 feet from where I would stand many years later at Piccadilly Circus.

Sometimes my travels feel all my own, which in many cases is true.  Hopping on a plane to L.A. all by myself (big girl things) and doing some soul-searching are some major moments in my life I hold dearly to my heart.  After some very heavy, dark months, these several weeks away gave me some time to reflect and renew at a distance.  But the thing about travel that continues to blow me away is its ability to unite people.  Your experience may be all your own yet it may not stray far from another’s.vintage-picadilly-circus-london-uk-travelpiccadilly

Travel gives us this instant ability to connect and relate to a complete stranger.  If you grab a burger from McDonald’s and another from Red Robin, you’ll be getting two very different experiences, but they’re both burgers and bought in America.  The weather may have been really hot, but a “hot” temperature in Cabo varies incredibly from that of one in Quebec.  Food, weather, tastes, quality and “normal” are all completely relative.  Yet travel offers us a different experience.  The Eiffel Tower that I saw in Paris is the same one you’ve seen in Paris.  The Colosseum my worn-down Sperrys wandered through is the same one you’re heading to soon.  Piccadilly Circus is Piccadilly Circus.  And that’s astounding in a world of constant change.  Heck, iPhones change every few blinks of the eye.  And did I see the McRib is back again?  In a world that’s ever progressing and advancing, few things remain.eiffel-tower-paris-france-vintage-photoDSC_0835 copyvintage-travel-photos-london-uk

Vacation may seem like a time to check out, to see some stunning sites, to allow ourselves to eat entirely too much.  But travel is so much more than that.  It creates a community of people from a wide range of backgrounds and ages all interested in one thing: travel.  Finding something in common with someone from the other side of the country or even the world can be a challenge, but travel often kindles fond memories and creates a safe place to bond.  Cultural norms, what’s trendy, popular fashion and a typical breakfast between two people may not even land anywhere near each other.  But the moment the two realize they’ve both visited Los Angeles, an instant commotion of conversation buzzes: Did you go to In-N-Out?  Which beach was your favorite?  Did you think the water was freezing, too?  Did you go to the Getty?  To me, that’s incredible.  Merely the name of a city can make two people click immediately.  And that is the community of travel.vintage-colosseum-rome-italycolosseum-rome-italy-travelcolosseum-rome-italy-round-trip-travel

My dad said, “Who knows?  Maybe in 40 years, one of your kids will be standing where you were.”  Wow.  There’s an exciting and oddly sobering thought that makes my stomach drop a bit.  Travel has the power to create community now, but it also has the ability to connect many generations.  The Arc de Triomphe and the shores of Laguna Beach will probably look a bit different decades later, but the heart of these places remains.  It’ll be years before I have kids, and I’m confident there are many adventures to come before that one.  But one thing I can confidently predict: “Mom, were those shoes and your hair ever in style?”

Bises,

Kristin

{How have you experienced the community of travel?}

10 comments

  1. Hello Kristin. What a lovely post. I particularly like the old photos. My parents haven’t traveled much in their lives, so I can’t really share my travel experiences with them. However, I continue to love traveling. It’s always exciting to go somewhere new, especially if it is a different culture to your own. I’ve been lucky that I have worked in places like Thailand and China, and I think these experiences have made me a more open minded and understanding person. I am also much braver too – especially when trying new foods 😉 Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Take care and continue to enjoy traveling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carly! Thanks so much! I totally understand, but even just old pictures of where you grew up can be really cool and insightful. Travel is so good for the soul and for understanding yourself and others. Happy traveling!

      Liked by 1 person

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