The Wrong End of the Telescope
You’re not living, not living in the sense that everyone else is living.
“Marla, you liar, you big tourist. I need this. Get out.”
I came to a realization the other day. After watching Fight Club for the bajillionth time…which always tends to shed light on the way I walk through the world…I realized how much of a tourist I am everywhere I go. Not like a normal tourist, but like a, Tyler Durden leeching on support groups type tourist. And it depressed me.
After coming to this realization, I feel like such a selfish and soul sucking cunt that I needed to write this shit down.
You see, I never stay long enough in a place to be invested or of use to anyone. No one has to expect anything from me and we all just have a great time and I move on. I try to leave each place better than I found it, I try to inspire those that I meet to change their perspective, travel a bit and see the world in a new light, and I try to experience the cultures and places that I go as authentically as possible.
But I’m a goddamn vampire.
I also get really weird when I feel like I’ve been in a place too long. Like, I start leaving a part of myself in the place and I need to move quickly before I lose some of my own soul. In the meantime though, I get to just blast through and have a good time, see the best parts of places and interact with people in the best of ways. I’m shiny and new, they’re shiny and new, and then all of a sudden, before things begin to dull, I’m off to the next adventure.
What people may not realize is that I’m off to the next welcoming set of arms, seeing the best of the next people I interact with and always sitting on the sunny side of things because I never stay long enough to have to see the shitty parts. The kindness of others has been overwhelming around the world, and I am in a constant state of receiving and am a full-time visitor/tourist of the world.
Who needs rose colored glasses when you can borrow them from the people that tint them, the locals and see their homes through the best of light?
I get to spark and ignite a passion in people about the places they are from. It is so much fun to incite that hometown pride and to go see and do things that they hold dear. I recently had the luxury of showing a few close friends the place that I come from and to share some of the best things about a city that I call my own… but I am never staying long enough to share more than a moment.
So is it fair? Is it extremely selfish the way I live? Am I taking more than I am giving in these pleasant exchanges I have every day of my life?
I’m beginning to think so…
I only experience the friendliest sides of people, the best places and the best hospitality, often from complete strangers…but I’m working on better ways to return the gratitude that I so whole heartedly feel, to those that have welcomed me into their homes, their friend circles, their families…I’m never without a place to hang my hat and it is such a blissful feeling to know that I am cared about in all corners of the planet.
That brings me to the telescope. I forget that I see the world from a different perspective than many people. When I live my normal life, traveling full time, I’m usually surrounded by people that have seen the diversity and the cultures that the world has to offer. I’m currently trying to grow my tribe of travelers and those that move freely, but happen cross paths every so often.
When I am back home, I’m in a place where you realize why everyone asks “why don’t Americans travel more?”. People here seem to be looking at the rest of the world through a telescope. There are also plenty of terrible filters being put on that view and its also blowing things up, zooming in on certain areas and making everything seem big and scary. Where I, on the other hand, get the feeling that I’m looking through the wrong end of the telescope. The many problems people have tend to be small and insignificant, we are all so very very small in the grand scheme of things and we are all much closer than we realize. Everything is proportionately smaller and more insignificant. That includes crossing borders, finding food and water, transportation, family drama, friend drama, people working jobs they hate to buy shit they don’t need, etc etc. Little ants moving around. I think this gets even more exaggerated the more I move because I skip around and don’t get too involved in any one place. It’s all so fleeting.
I’m sitting here realizing that 2 weekends ago I was in Canada, last weekend I was camping/dirt biking around Michigan and this weekend I’ll be in Mexico.
Before that I was raising hell in the deserts of Utah, TREX flash mobbing my Dad’s wedding in Texas, and running around New York City for 10 days.
Only once did I get caught up in a bit of drama and it was of course when I was back home and having to rely on family and close friends. But even that was minimal, because I just blasted out of there.
I guess part of this whole process is having these emo kid moments…It’s draining, to keep investing in such fleeting relationships and moments. I love them, it’s what I live for and I’m not sure I could live any other way now. But I just hope that if not now, my existence in these people’s world means something. I need to be able to contribute and give back to their worlds. This selfish feeling is only fleeting and soon passes, but I really want to find a better way of existing through the world.
My adventures have me off to new corners and I am so excited to have you all along for the ride. I’m going to be recording my stories in a series of books, so check it out and subscribe for updates.