Travel, across borders, from darkness to light. It is a brightness that emerges out of the thick nothingness that embraces the world on the other side of the scratched glass window. My fingers are here typing, but my eyes are distracted, enthralled with the small Austrian towns that dot the landscape of forested mountains and steep valleys on both sides of the tracks, all under the palate of a pink and yellow sky. The beauty is astounding.
Travel, squished in the middle seat, a 65L backpack resting on my lab, an overloaded trunk and a dozen French baguettes slowly sliding into the back of my head. Off we race into the French countryside, zooming around corners of small centuries-old towns. I am off to a New Years celebration with friends, friends who make my cheeks hurt I smile so often from the sheer ridiculousness of the adventures we find ourselves in. Me, the backpacks, the BBQ supplies, and a large pile of blankets and sleeping bags fall out of the compact car into what feels like a painting. An ancient French farmhouse greets us, surrounded by nothing but vineyards, all set against a brilliant setting sun. The beauty is astounding.
Travel, through the mist of a light rain I speed, searching for a bike share stand before stopping in at my favorite Parisian restaurant for a date with myself. After an 11-hour day of biking, mostly lost, around Paris, it’s time for a good meal, and maybe a beer. My head all day was constantly on swivel, back and forth, admiring the beauty hidden on the small side streets of Paris. When by myself, I don’t worry about time, or ensuring I know where I am, or even having any idea where I am going. I go – in whichever direction entices, as the day fades away and I appreciate that I have contact lenses, and not glasses, to pedal through the misty Parisian darkness. Every table is full with friends discussing the whims of life, young lovers leaned close together sharing intimate moments over the din of one of Paris’ cool young hang outs. And then there is me. Sitting solo, pretty sweaty from my day of biking in many layers of clothing, with my notebook, content to be in the middle of this hub of human connection, continuing my day of getting lost – this time in my own thoughts. The beauty is astounding.
Travel, the plane rattles as I slightly doubt my choice of a new budget airline as I cross the Atlantic, back towards ‘reality’. I took off from the permafrost of Reykjavik, Iceland, a fantastic place for a layover. The turbulence subsides, the clouds part, and below me stretches the vast snow-covered surface of Greenland. No human development, just a vast beautiful world that astounds.
Computer away, time to land, as the final sunset of my travels lights up the sky, outside the scratched glass window.