"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
Cesare Pavese phrased it beautifully.
"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.
You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it."
Traveling is a core part of my life and pushes me to embrace being outside my comfort zone. I've been fortunate to have some standard tourist experiences - visiting the Eiffel Tower at sunset or bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Other experiences have been less typical - getting trapped in a blizzard in the Scottish Highlands, wandering lost in the Peruvian Amazon, or falling asleep under the stars on a remote waterway in Southern India.
Individually, each trip explorers and highlights differences and disparities in cultures and comforts, languages and living styles. Put together, they remind me of the common threads that I could rely on anywhere: the importance of focus and clarity of mind, determination and discipline, and how far a smile goes anywhere.
The map remains woefully unexplored. It will become less so each year.