I teach Drama, and today I went to a Drama class for Drama teachers. In an acting exercise I had to take off a piece of jewelery and state why it is significant to me. I took off the silver ring I wear everyday and said, “This is the ring I bought in Peru, and I wear it everyday. It reminds me always that I am a traveller.”
“I am a traveller.” This is something I know to be true about myself, even when I doubt other things. It has become a constant. This contradiction tickles me, because I have this constant in my life that is about fulfilling my need to move, and my needs for freedom, for newness and contrasts. That assuredness actually guides me, because I have a great fear of playing it safe and becoming stagnant.
To travel is to take risks. It is a leap of faith. We build up expectations and then we go to see how the real thing measures up. It could all go pear shaped. Every time we get in the car for a road trip, or board a plane, we are putting ourselves out there in the world, and exposing ourselves to all kinds of strife, sometimes even bedlam. But, for me, the risks are worth it. They have paid off ten fold: where I have been, what I have done, who I have met, what I have seen. These are now parts of the tapestry of my life.
AND most importantly, in between my travels, I can still be a ‘traveller’: I can be brave, I can embrace opportunities to meet new people, I can try new things, and I can seek out new places in my home city. ‘I am a traveller’ means movement, freedom and contrasts, whether that is here in Sydney or on the other side of the world.
Of course I have those days where I don’t leave the house and stay in my pyjamas – the power of the ‘Doona Day’ is strong – and I have real fears that sometimes cripple me, but ultimately my mantra has the power to steer me back on course. ‘I am a traveller.’ I must go, and see and do.