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Why We Travel

“There are, of course, great dangers to this, as to every kind of freedom, but the great promise of it is that, traveling, we are born again, and able to return at moments to a younger and a more open kind of self. Traveling is a way to reverse time, to a small extent, and make a day last a year–or at least 45 hours–and traveling is an easy way of surrounding ourselves, as in childhood, with what we cannot understand”

This quote from Pico Iyer’s “Why we Travel” resonates with me in a more personal way than I think he intended. Of course, I will feel like a kid when I travel to China and I will experience things that I probably will never experience again. However, I think I want more than just a feeling of happiness and sense of self. I want to experience heritage and culture that could be mine. My mother likes to speak of China as an adventure, (which is a childlike adjective) and she explains her experiences the same way that Iyer does. I most certainly think that revisiting the country in which I was born, will bring some sense of the word childhood to me, but I mainly think that will have to do with the racial aspect of the country. I will probably not understand anything or be understood at all, but I have to assume that I will appreciate my family and surroundings in America more. I don’t think that I am going to go to China and come back speaking fluent Chinese as if I have unlocked an inherited ability in my brain, but I will come back “reborn” or a different person. I will understand more of what I have always wanted to, but as a child at the same time have always pushed away.