Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pondering on the train

I’ve been thinking a bit over the last few weeks about the nature of travel. In many ways, it’s incredibly sad. You meet so many people that you never would have met if you just stayed at home, which is fantastic, but at the same time, saying goodbye to someone when you know you’ll probably never see them again is kind of depressing. In a way, it might be a blessing, because a lot of the time you don’t know someone well enough to see their bad side, and perhaps if you had a less finite experience of their company, you wouldn’t like them anyway. It’s hard to never know, though. And it makes you think about how many of these incredible people that you have great connections with you’ll never have the chance to meet at all. And that’s strangely lonely at times. The worst bit is, so often you intend to catch up with people, but the reality is it rarely happens. For this reason, modern day society and the emphasis on sites such as facebook can be a bit of a hindrance. No one sends letters or emails anymore. You meet someone you like, you add them on facebook. It may guarantee you never truly fall out of contact with that person, but do you REALLY still connect with them? All each of you can do is watch how the others life quietly goes on without you.

That said, it’s fabulous to get an opportunity to meet people that you DO get a chance to see again. Sometimes I get a bit sick of meeting Australians everywhere I go (are there any of us left in Australia?) but there’s always the chance of catching up with them later, even if they are in a different state. And you can make some very valuable contacts all over the world, which definitely come in handy in future travels. It’s never set in stone what will happen, maybe if we stop treating goodbyes as goodbyes, they won’t feel so final. Everyone you meet comes into your life for a reason, and if you have enough of a connection with someone, there’s always a way to stay in each others’ lives.

Never let it be said that being a traveller is easy. But, sometimes you just need to put things into the right perspective.

-m xx

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