To travel is to see, is to listen and to hear to the life roaring around you. To travel is to sometimes forget about yourself in the places that you like being at and to learn about life and the world. This is just one attempt to give a brief definition of traveling; it is my own approach, for certain! One learns through seeing and listening - and sometimes I so much wish that people could be more willing to listen to each other and grow along the music that they can play together by communicating fluidly!
A Traveler’s Daydreaming Throughout the World of Wonders
This is a post dedicated to traveling and the pleasures of... dreaming of places you've never been to before...
However, this is but my own personal dream of a brighter day! As I was saying, when traveling one has to keep the eyes wide open - ‘eyes wide open’ and not ‘eyes wide shut’ just to paraphrase Kubrick. Keep his eyes open even when he lies down on his hotel! Always! Sometimes I dream of places such as Cambodia or Bolivia, far from the eyes of Europe or what we usually call Western societies. Only mentioning the name of the places I feel close to in my dreams and the sound of it almost renders and exotic echo in some of my friends' ears. To me, though, they feel close.
I don't know if you ever took the time to check on what Cambodia can offer apart of course from cheap hotels, food, more or less everything. It you haven't, let me tell you: for starters, the Bayon Temple. Or even, the temple of Banteay Chhmar, which, according to Wikipedia, is one of the least understood mysteries from the remote Cambodian past. Just think about it! How much we have heard and read about the Greek and Roman antiquities and how little we know about Khmer’s civilization!?
Nevertheless, it’s not in my intention to dare step upon the precious remnants of that magnificent ancient Mediterranean civilizations. All of the people that live in the Mediterranean countries (me included!) are privileged enough to have the chance to go to work or just for a walk and actually stroll among all sorts of ancient wonders spread around the city’s landscape. Now, this is what one would call the history geek’s paradise!
I guess it’s a matter of getting used to things. The Parthenon could be one of the most profound wonders in the history of Western Civilization. However, if you see it every day, it somehow fuels your imagination less and less... it is just like eating souvlaki every day for lunch. At one point, you start dreaming of tamales. And that's when daydreaming kicks in and one starts thinking about the fact that there might actually be this urge for a trip to … Bolivia!
Bolivia;s capital La Paz
Bolivia is currently heard of due to its world-wide famous president Evo Morales - the first ever indigenous Bolivian to lead the country. Apart from its modern history, though, Bolivia is a knot where largely unfamiliar civilizations met and shaped the identity of the place we know today, even far long before the Spanish Conquest.
First, there were the Tiwanaku that ruled the area for centuries- an empire we know little about. Today, some indigenous Bolivians even claim their historical roots to this culture. After the Tiwanaku, the Empire of Incas followed. And at least about the Incas we know a thing or two, which is good! Going back to the historical snapshot, I feel to complete the story by mentioning that the Inca Empire did not last forever, as the Spaniards arrived and took over what we know as present day Bolivia in 1524. What followed after… well, a change to last … forever! However, until today the traces of the great Inca civilization await all curious visitors. These 'Inca marks' are spread all around the place, from El Fuerte de Samaipata to Incallajta and elsewhere.
The Incas is what I would call a strong driving force capable to drag you out there, to the Latin America! After all, The Mayas had their share of recent publicity due to the supposed predictions concerning the… end of the world. I guess that one day the time of the Incas will come as well – let's hope that this time they will predict a bright new beginning!
However, till that day, still keeping my expectations high about Latin America, I guess that I will have to come back with my feet on the ground on the Old Continent. Basically, what I am having in mind is just another Spanish-speaking horizon – the root of all conquests! Spain! And what about that place we all know about called Barcelona!?
Barcelona is a top destination in Europe. Apart from proudly hosting the best football player of our days - the one and only Lionel Messi! - the city of Barcelona has other stars to shine and magnetize humanity. If I just mention Dali all eyes will sparkle! See! Just on the edge of Barcelona, the Salvador Dali’s museum awaits to fascinate its visitors. It is all simply surreal!
Same goes for Antonio Gaudi’s unique buildings, spread throughout the city. Located just inside the city's borders, these magically shaped fascinating creations of modern architecture dominate and give the special character to a city that, otherwise, is pretty much alive. As Barcelona truly is one of Europe's most alive urban centers – a world city and center of the world, where people meet and mingle, where cultures meet and mix along the colors and the flavors. If you feel young and restless, then Barcelona is the place to be! You just have to search for one of its cheap hotels and let the rest come! As for some place to go to for a visit, oh well… Bolivia, Cambodia, you name it! Whatever daydreaming brings along! I guess that parallel universes of history and magic are everywhere … just right around the corner, sometimes… just awaiting for the curious traveler who got bored of paella and feels like going to search for papaya and coconut.
I wish you good luck in your quest and don't forget: the world's our neighborhood and it deserves all attention! Why not feel yourself at home and explore peacefully forever after!? Hasta la vista! Ole!