"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."
— Mary Anne Radmacher
Traveling is a huge part of my life. Secured in my mind and heart forever are the endless stories of my adventures from one country to the next. From the humble villages (and wild monkeys roaming the beach!) in Malaysia to the dark quiet ramen alleys in Sapporo, I remember it all. Traveling is one of my favorite things to talk about, and if I'm not careful, I could easily talk away three hours.
I value storytelling, especially when we get to share our stories in person, because it's one of the most captivating things we can experience and I know it will never die away. From my experiences as a growing photographer, I've learned that not everything needs to be captured and confined in our cameras, phones, or whatever we use to "remember a moment". Don't get me wrong., photography is a wonderful way to share a story, be it mine or someone else's, but even a camera can become a distraction when you're in the presence of something beautiful ("Beautiful things don't ask for attention.") Sometimes, it's better to just stay in the moment and soak everything in. I've learned to let life teach me about itself while I humbly and curiously learn with my senses and process everything with my mind. Even if I return home with only a few pictures, I'd be okay with that because it's better to have a compilation of rich stories in my memory that are worth sharing than pictures with blank contexts.
You know how we always proudly come home with little treasures that we find during our travels? Well, I guess stories are my most prized souvenirs.
The best part of traveling, though, is ultimately how it grows us as a person. It pushes us out of our comfort zones, and it's up to us to determine how we want it to shape our adventures, our memories, and our character. I truly think if we let our childlike faith guide us through our adventures, we will return home with a little more humility, compassion, and wisdom.