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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

The Traveler

Leave your belongings,

They are not useful here.
Open your mind, heart, and backpack
To the culture you are immersed in.
No western belongings are needed,
Only the necessities.
The lack of phone service and electricity
Help you make that decision.
Without these,
You are an open canvas,
Which cultural leaders and the landscape
Can paint on, to make a new image.
Your past does not matter.
Only the present, here and now.
Listen, learn,
The experiences, solutes.
Your mind, a solvent.
Let the solution mix,
Until they are one.
Until the impression of the once foreign land
Becomes natural.
Until the once distasteful frowns of locals
Become smiles as you say hello in Quechua.
You are no longer a foreigner,
But a traveller.