Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Agists of the World

I think sometimes one of the hardest parts of being home is that most of the time people have no idea about a lot of the things I have seen while travelling. They just assume I am the same as when I left. The truth is that traveling totally changes a person on the inside in a way that I cannot compare to anything else. Maybe having children would be the closest thing to compare it too. What else changes every aspect of your life and thought process. School, work, people? Maybe a little bit, but not to the same extent. Here everyone goes to work every day and they do the same thing every day. For the most part they eat the same foods everyday at the same time in the same places. They see the same people doing the same things. Everything is scheduled, expected and predictable, of course we don't have new experiences because there is no room for it. We are so used to getting change in small doses that our minds aren't even capable of dealing with large amounts of change. That's why radical unexpected changes tend to cause huge psychological problems for people because we don't know how to deal with it.

I truly believe that one day of traveling has as many new experiences as a month in a normal scheduled life. While traveling, the number of new experiences is not comparable to any other kind of lifestyle. You’re in a new place eating new food seeing new people every single day. It is a total bombardment of the senses and the mind. At first when you travel, it’s almost too much. The amount of information is so great that we actually have a hard time absorbing it. That’s what can be gained from traveling. Experience. Some people live 30 years of their life doing exactly the same thing and then preach about life experience. What experience? If you do the same thing everyday I'm sure you will be amazing at it, but life isn’t about one thing, life is about everything because everyone lives differently and experiences life in a different way and experience is only important when you are relating to others. The only way to have a lot of “life experience” is to live and experience life!! You have to experience life from many different perspectives in order to understand how people live. Every day we should wake up thinking how can I shatter this box that is my mind? It only keeps me from being everything I’ve ever wanted. If I place my trust in my misinformed mind I will follow the path that has been laid out before me. If I stop and think beyond the programming…. I know I can do anything and I realize there is no path and it’s only my happiness on the line.

Back to where I started, I think that I have already had an immense amount of life experience in my life. There are some things I have not experienced and some things I may never experience, but I have definitely not lived a conventional life. The last 5 years of my life has been everything but conventional. So I guess what this all comes down to is, I wish people would stop and consider people like myself a little more when they are trying to judge me and just try to understand how much I have experienced already. It can be difficult sometimes because I meet people who are in there thirties or forties and they start to give me the “you’re too young to know” complex and I try to understand where they are coming from but they don’t show me any respect. They don’t even try to see me as I actually am, they just group me by age and appearance and then start interacting with me despite their false assumptions. If there is one thing I cant stand its prejudice, and judging a person by their age is just another form of prejudice. Its Agism. It makes me want to get out of here and go back to places where people aren’t a hundred percent sure who you are, where you come from or why you are there. They listen to your words and if they judge you at least they know who you really are before they do so.

 I think the best way to end this little rant is with a short quote, which is from one of my favourite films Into The Wild. Christopher McCandless says "The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences" and I dont think I could sum up my own beliefs any better.

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