In foreign places I become a mere observer of life, a smile suspended in between the heavens of my imagination and the flat earth of the toiling people. I look out of the window, squint my dry eyes and gaze in the wild distance. The people on the marketplace this morning, I was not part of their story, yet my story revolves around them.

When I travel, I belong to this world. She becomes almost an extension of my senses. Yet, I don’t belong to any particular place. I am aloof, watching the world go by. A fragile coral of happiness gently sways under the tide of my experience – if you want total kitsch.

Trips abroad, to places of unusual climes where I don’t speak the language, never fail to inspire me. I have a bucket list full of promising and safe destinations, places like Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Tazjikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazachstan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Iran, Oman, Madagascar, Namibia, Mauritius, Maldives, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Tunesia, Algeria, Malawi, Zambia, Swasiland, Ghana, Togo, Guinee, Cameroon, Canada, Iceland, Venezuela, Surinam, Belize, Haïti, Jamaica.

Of course, it is common wisdom that international travel is just escapism, doesn’t provide sustainable happiness, always generates more lack and aching desire than it can fulfill, destroys the environment, dodges responsibility, and turns us into capricious wimps.

Still, airlift me into strange territories and I’ll have forgotten such wisdom in a heartbeat.

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