memory and renewal

It is always interesting to come back from a long journey. While the

physical self experiences jet lag, exhaustion, readjustment to time zones

and environment, the spiritual self is somehow left behind in the foreign

land that has captivated part of its essence. The transition from experience

to memory is sometimes a struggle – it is always difficult to let go of an

uncontaminated joy that one experiences in a new place, with new smiles, new

language, new ways of seeing the world. The fine line between past and

present starts to become more delineated as the days go by, and we are

forced to return to our everyday lives. It is then that we begin to build


It is about retaining the initial connection with that distant land, about

embracing a particular state of mind that we experienced during a late

afternoon while transfixing on a distinct culture. The pieces will somehow

fit into a puzzle that will eventually become decipherable, and without even

noticing it, will become intrinsic to what we shall become in the future.

The smell fresh of doner in a Turkish kebab house in the middle of a German

metropolis will still retain its fragrance, a casual 2 hour talk with a

fellow Scottish passenger sitting next to you on the train will still

resonate in your ears, a red tulip placed on your sketching pad by a

meandering student will retain its crimson glow, the smile of an 80 year old

Spanish shopkeeper will become transfixed in your soul. Those meandering

cobblestone streets that were your companions during your journey will

retain the tales of time – and will have your imprint as an addition to

their secret stories. Your experience becomes another layer added to the

palimpsest of life. It is beyond our consciousness, beyond the photographs

that we take in a humble attempt to freeze time, it is beyond the words that

we write in order to re-experience the sentiments from our journeys that we

will surely crave in our days ahead. Travel makes us more human. It is what

reminds us of the freshness that is still waiting outside our doorstep, it

is the revival of ourselves in the midst of change. It is our right of

passage to awakening from our microcosm.

Journal Comments