I read a quote few days ago that says: “No two persons ever read the same book’’, and, reflecting on it; I thought: “No two persons ever take the same trip”, for every trip is a travel story, and every person will have his own, personal, subjective impression at the end of it.
Statistics show that there are around 1.24 billion travelers worldwide. This means there are more than a billion stories being written, lived, and experienced every year.
Similar to any book you read, your travel story always consists of an introduction (preparation phase), a body and a conclusion; you’re the one holding the pen, and with every step you take, you’re filling new pages that will later on form a book of memories you will remember for life.
Your travel story always goes back to the very first time you thought of the trip; to that moment you woke up at night thinking of going on an adventure, to that day you read an article about a distant land and thought it’s worth the visit, to that time you sat on your couch thinking: I need a break.
Checking plane tickets, packing your bag, planning your itinerary, finding hidden spots… you begin preparing for your new adventure; and just like writing a book, you change your mind many times, rethink your itinerary, your planning, you question your choices, you erase and rewrite; until the big day arrives.
You’re sitting on a chair at the airport, waiting to board the plane, thoughts going through your head: which new friends am I going to meet? What memories am I going to take back? Will everything go as I planned?
Well, to answer that last question: hopefully not! I mean, where’s the fun in a trip without surprises and unexpected adventures?!
The plane lands, and you begin writing the body of your book of memories; you become driven by a desire; a desire to discover this unknown land, to wander in its streets, to get lost, find your way and get lost again, to meet strangers that will become your friends, to party with them until sunrise as if you knew them for ages. These moments will one day bring a smile to your face when telling your travel story friends and family.
Smile and begin your journey, every person you meet and every building or street you walk next to, will somehow affect you.
Lisbon travel story:
Whenever I think of Lisbon, the first thing that comes to my mind is “Rua Augusta” and Sarah, that girl I met, sitting in the middle of the street with a pen in her hand, drawing a painting. A painting that is now the best souvenir I have from Portugal. One day, I might go back to Lisbon, Sarah might not be there anymore, but the street will always remind me of her, of her smile, her accent, and her beautiful drawings. She is forever part of my Portugal travel story.
Prague travel story:
Whenever I think of Prague, I remember the pub crawl I went to. I had so much fun with amazing people who taught me how to play “Beer pong”. I remember the castle walking tour, Jhon Lennon’s wall and the awesome friends, from the US, Ireland, and Malaysia; with whom I wandered the streets of the city for hours and shared stories together; we even called ourselves the “Prague team” and planned other trips around the globe. We are all now a part of each other’s Prague travel story.
These journeys are not always as smooth as we think they will be; surprises and adventures are always waiting for us and this is what enriches your travel story! I didn’t plan to get robbed in East Europe; nor did I expect to get lost for hours at night in Sweden with no food and temperature below zero! Also, I wasn’t on my planning to lose my phone in Italy when I most needed it.
It’s all part of the journey, trains run late, flights get canceled, unexpected surprises arise… and at this moment, you are faced with a choice: either you feel discouraged, or you just relax, chill, smile and remember that you are on holiday and have nothing to lose. Later, when you go home, looking back at your journey, you will glad you didn’t let anything stop you from enjoying it and making the best out of it.
The end of your trip arrives, and so you start writing the last chapter of your book; it’s time to say goodbye; goodbye to the streets that welcomed you; goodbye to the friends who, a few days earlier, were only strangers, and now they are the people with whom you shared awesome moments. Moments that you will not relive another time, and friends that you will probably not see again; but whether you do see them or not, won’t take away from your having known them and shared these memories with them. They will always be part of your story.
You go back home, you go back to your work, you realize everything stayed the same while you were gone. You enjoy telling your travel story to everyone you meet, but even with all the details you include, no one will experience it the way you do. Sometimes, you even feel you don’t belong anymore, you just want to get back out there, eager to write a new story.
Traveling is beautiful; the world is big, and every part of it has a story, a story that is waiting for you to write.