Vulnerability is the name of the game when traveling, especially when you’re immersed in a foreign culture. From misinterpreting social cues or getting lost in translation to misunderstanding signage at the airport or being unknowingly pickpocketed on the subway, pursuing life out of your element brings its fair share of challenges. But, I want to remind you that some of the most magnificent and magical moments of clarity, of reflection, and of gratitude lay sandwiched between the chaotic scenes that accompany most traveler woes.
These magical moments, the silver linings, if you will, come in all shapes and sizes. Memories that quickly come to mind include: sipping a perfectly crafted hot chocolate at a cozy café next to a frozen lake in Helsinki; camping beneath a full moon on the shores of the Mediterranean sea in the south of Italy; and sitting around a grill at midnight with newly-made friends while stuffing our stomachs full of carne asada under the stars in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay.
But, there’s always another side to the story. That cozy café in Helsinki? It required trekking through knee-deep snow for 15-minutes, only to arrive and realize that I’d have to enjoy my drink while squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of strangers. Although it almost went unnoticed due to impatience and frustration, I sat and absorbed the magical moment sandwiched nicely between the Nordic winter winds and the scent of simmering milk with cloves.
I encourage you to pursue travel (and life) with humility because you’re guaranteed to meet obstacles and make mistakes, but you’re not required to linger on setbacks or beat yourself up about something you could’ve, or should’ve done. Choose to relish the moments in which you’re the most vulnerable, because they’re essentially begging for you to sit with the discomfort and reflect.
Written By: Jordan L Bryant
Editing By: DJ Williams
Photos By: Martha Pimentel Photography
Ad Photo By: Blue Eagle Society Photography
Click the button above to learn more about Jordan L Bryant