The Why: Travel to Escape, Travel to Confront
Minnesota Wandering after a Summer of Roadtripping
Travel can entail finding yourself in a radical way where one is stripped bare, but it can also entail running from a part of yourself that you don’t want to be a part of you. A lucky traveler is able to access both of these dimensions of themselves while on the road, and grow.
This summer of travel my partner Carp and I have tried to access both of these facets of ourselves. The part that wants to escape our capitalistic status based society, and the hidden envy that we don’t “fit” into this society the way we feel other 30 year olds with more traditional life paths do.
When traveling we are confronted with the idea that life is uncomfortable. Whether you’re drinking sandy beer on a dirty Minneapolis city river, or visiting a Stop Line 3 protest camp and being shown how much further you could potentially push yourself to become and help build.
Then there are other days when travel feels super easy, and you’re with old friends who you trust and that trust makes the uncomfortability of travel just a little bit easier to ignore.
Our week long trip in Minnesota ended a little bit early because Carp and I were tired mentally and physically. In addition to getting what you can out of travel, it’s equally important to recognize when you have been stretched to your limit, and it’s time to let your muscles heal.
If you’re doing it right, you come back with insights of how to integrate what you learned and thought about during your travels, and you apply them to your life at home. You take travel as a gift that reveals its beauty not only during the trip, but hopefully changes your mindset in a way that you can continually draw on.
It’s not always specific life changes that you bring back with you, though it can be. It’s also general feelings that you’ve experienced during the gamble of travel that you realize you want to cultivate more of.
Apart from your internal reflection, it’s genuinely intriguing to get to see how friends have changed over the years apart, and what you have both kept as shared values that still hold you tightly together and make communication and daily life easy. You also see where you’ve diverged, and dig into that.
You think more about where to check yourself, and where to direct your energies. If you’re lucky, you are coming back with not only photos to share, but a passion for change.
Travel is 100% a privilege, and if you have the ability to enjoy that privilege I believe you have a responsibility to contribute to the cause of working toward a more equitable world. Starting by looking deeply within yourself, and then finding those with the same drive and linking arms when you get brave enough.
Rest in power, George Floyd and all others impacted by racism and state violence. Let’s work toward a future where #BlackLivesMatter with a first step to #DefundthePolice and #AbolishBorders.