"In travel, as in life, it's the connections that count." -- George W. Stone
This article was originally featured on Mode.
To my younger self,
Right now that little head of yours is probably filled to the brim with great dreams for what the storybook of your future might hold.
It still is...
Don't ever stop imagining.
People may tell you to get your head out of the clouds, but they don't understand how breathtaking it all looks from above the sky. They've never sat in the window seat. You, however, will sit in many.
You'll venture far and wide, and take in places and faces that, to this day, will feel like faraway dreams from distant lifetimes.
But, you were there.
It's where you dove head first into foreign culture, language and cuisine; where you learned some of the greatest lessons you'll ever know; and where you'll once again return to revisit all the places that now hold scattered pieces of your heart.
That's the price you pay when you ultimately fall in love with this vast and magnificent world.
When you do, one thing is certain: There isn't a love quite like it.
For a love like this can endure across continents and centuries at a time. It knows no limits, and will live on through all the ways you'll attempt to capture it: stories and photographs, senses, memories and newfound perspectives.
But it can never truly be captured -- not in the ways you think.
You'll know upon your arrival home, when you'll soon come to realize, that you'll never be the same again.
For your mind will always be wandering towards those far-off lands and worlds within worlds, and you'll catch yourself in a constant state of wonderment for when you'll return to step foot on them once again.
Trust me, my dear younger self, you will someday. But until you do, don't let this keep you from living the present moment with all you can. There may be pieces of your heart elsewhere, but the biggest part remains exactly where you are.
Use it to fuel your passions and guide you every step of the way. And don't forget to fill it with the incredible humans all around you.
There's a lot of them.
It is when we stay present that we truly connect with the world around us. And this holds true anywhere, from the most exotic lands to the places we will call home. All it takes is a constant state of exploring, in seeing your surroundings with new eyes and a wide open heart.
One day, you'll master this.
I'd like to think I'm starting to...
When we do, life will unfold in a constant state of magic.
Until then, I'll share a quote from a travel magazine you'll find one day perusing an airport gift shop:
In travel, as in life, it's the connections that count. Connections are stories waiting to be told; stories that help us make sense of where we've been, where we're going, and what matters most. -- George W. Stone, National Geographic
Those stories are for you to discover on your own time.
But, trust me when I say that, together, they'll make for one hell of a ride.
In love and wanderlust,