Canada: Part 1 - Vulnerability in Travel

23 Jun 2018


Some days travel feels exhausting. It’s like being in an escape room except I sleep there. It’s hard work. To get anything I need there is an unknown number of puzzles to solve. There is a trust I learn to have with myself that by putting one foot in front of the other, I know I will get to where I want to be. The path is not straight. It’s full of plot twists and surprises and it seems the only amount of preparation I can ever truly do is to open up my heart and let it lead. Being in the puzzle can be exhausting, especially if it takes a lot to trust myself. It is a special place where I can say to myself, ‘I got this, I’ll let go.’



Some days travel feels like I’m cripplingly shy. It’s partly the bliss of knowing no one and partly the pain of knowing no one. It’s a knife edge between being alone and being lonely. It’s partly wanting to get out and explore the new world around me and partly feeling like I’m dwarfed by the new world that the experience is opening up inside me. It’s the vastness and newness of what’s out there being a mirror to the surprising vastness and newness of what’s inside.


To know the world outside, it requires knowing truths about myself that I may have wanted to avoid or not had the right light to see. Travel isn’t just new eyes on the world outside it is a new light pointing directly inside. Travel is being incredibly uncomfortable and above all, feeling that discomfort and being ok with it. Leaning into it. Finding courage to face the vastness of what’s inside, to feel small, to feel irrelevant, to feel unseen or too seen. To feel all of this and have the courage to not run, whether that be to run home or to run away from that conversation with myself. To feel that smallness and know I am not diminished by it. To find the beauty in the newness, in the vulnerability, in the ache of a soul that feels like it’s received on its surface the spiritual equivalent of sunburn. It is to feel all of this, feeling so so small in this huge and complex world, to know all I can ever truly give is in my heart and to have the courage to give it and know that that is enough, no matter how small that feels.


It is to be in a position where all the usual ways to avoid or compensate when I feel inadequate are so far out of reach and I have to feel everything completely on my own. It is feeling inadequate by feeling bored or boring or ugly or dirty or unfit or any other uncomfortable feeling and being ok with those feelings instead of drowning them out with other stuff. It is questioning my decisions and my reasoning and allowing myself the opportunity to be wrong. It is being ok with the discomfort of being wrong. Of wrapping myself up in the feeling like a blanket and to feel human from it, to see myself with empathy and to grow.

Some days travel is looking out at the big vast unknown world around me, to see myself in it, truly see myself and say with love ‘I choose this one’.

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