i need to do laundry

24 September 2015

It is the twenty fourth of September and I have officially been living out of my small pink carryon for thirty-eight days with only one load of laundry done in the midst of all of the walking and hiking and running that I’ve been doing. I’m not usually one to say this but: man, do I need to do some laundry. Oh, sure, I’ve done some sink laundry and shower laundry and that sort of thing, but my clothes always end up smelling like some sort of wet animal and before too long I have to roll them up and stuff them in a small space where something very close to clothing fermentation™ must be happening.

It’s pretty attractive.

In other news, it is the twenty fourth of September and I have officially been living out of my small pink carryon for thirty-eight days.

In the span of those days, I have been to:

Los Angeles, California

Boston, Massachusetts

New York City, New York

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tiberius, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Negev Desert, Israel

Athens, Greece

Tinos, Greece

Rome, Italy

Florence, Italy

And I am currently on my way to

Venice, Italy.

Twelve places in thirty-eight days – twelve different cultures and ways of life, countless different identities and nationalities, an infinite amount of different kinds of people and viewpoints and mindsets. And all in thirty-eight days.

When I travel, I often experience so many different kinds of people with different ways of thinking with different sorts of daily routines and practices – but usually the same feelings and quirks and desires. Everyone just wants to love and be loved, to want and be wanted. So I often ask myself:

Do I really need to travel to understand these differences? If everyone has the same base feelings, does travel truly add anything relevant to these inherently human questions?

Sometimes I doubt that it does. When I am at home and comfortable and marveling at the differences set beautifully in front of me in the space of my own hometown, I wonder if it is really so spanning worldwide.

But then I travel again – I get back out into the uncomfortable and messy world where I am reminded constantly how little I know and how little I am. And I find that these cultural and global and locational differences do matter, they do add more to a wider understanding of humanity and personhood.

While our root questions and desires are the same, culture is the thing that tries to get to the root, culture is the expression of the ways that people have been trying to answer these questions for ages, culture tells us how a certain people have chosen to answer these perennial questions – and we can see how the answers have evolved and morphed over the ages, how they change between country lines and city limits, how they morph between family members and generations.

We will probably never find any correct answers to the questions that we long to answer, most likely because a singular correct answer does not exist. What we can find are these beautiful guesses, these remarkable suppositions that we can see by simply looking, listening, watching, asking, doing – by travelling. And maybe, just maybe, at the end of it all, we will be able to add up all the minute pieces that we have found and see some larger truth, some bigger picture.

But for now, I venture. For now, I pick up the pieces, small bit by small bit. For now, I travel.

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