I always find it hard to sum up vacations in neat blog posts with profound observations and poignant anecdotes. Travel puts you on sensory overdrive with a tumble of people and places; backpacking is especially dense, with memories taking shape at literally every waking moment. I make mental notes of little jokes that I promptly forget; I stop to absorb an atmosphere I can’t articulate when I return; I snap a ridiculous number of pictures that irritatingly don’t seem to capture the richness of the scenes I see. And how does one go about putting that all together in a nice linear representation, when it replays like a cheesy movie montage in my head?
But I do return the richer, for all I fail to convey afterwards. When life is that concentrated, you’re emboldened. To laugh harder, to trudge a little bit longer with a giant sack on your back, to embarrass yourself in the name of good fun, to allow the thirty seconds you need to strike up a conversation with the fruit vendor. You dare.
And each time I dare, I feel a little more alive. As if I’ve shaken off the inertia and gone out and done something that will sustain me when responsibility calls and I don’t have the means or opportunity to dare quite so much.
So these past two weeks, traveling in Chile with friends and then solo, have been a beautiful. exuberant dare. I can’t wait for the next one.