Day 258 – 70482 kilometers later…have you found yourself?

2009/05/19 § Leave a comment

One question you get a lot from people is if a trip changes you. Have you found yourself? Reminds me of Forrest Gump being asked: Forrest have you found Jesus yet? And he responds: No, but I didn’t know I had to search for him…

Arbol de piedra, Atacama dessert, Bolivia

Arbol de piedra, Atacama dessert, Bolivia

I did not set out to find anyone or anything, yet naturally just like any other experience you have, a trip changes you. At the same time, who is to say exactly how it changes you? One of the great truths of traveling is rather that you can be yourself, whoever you want that to be, or even experiment with behaving diametrical opposed to what you would usually do. This way a trip can become a playing field of experiencing yourself. I do not think that you permanently change fundamentally that way, but you may get insight into how other people may experience the world.

But what is up with this whole “finding yourself” issue? I guess I don’t know what that really means and I have yet to see a decent definition of it. Again in terms of experiencing yourself there is some room to wiggle on your character and to perform your own and personal internal character study. However, the concept of changing ones character is somewhat doubtful. I am not a big fan of believing that you have terribly much option and alternatives to behave any other than as the person you are born as. I am reading Steven Pinker’s book “the blank slate” [1] and I could not agree more with him: men is in essence a product of her biology.

So in conclusion, if you cannot figure out who you are while at home, in relation to friends and family, raising kids, working and dealing with colleagues, you will never know, not after 70482 kilometers either…


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