Traveling to another country, changing your house, culture and language it’s one of the most terrifying and mesmerizing experiences one can live.
The first days are the hardest, when I arrived in France, I could barely sleep more than 2/3 hours per day and my eating schedule was messed up, on the 7th day I would get really tired everyday, my brain would shut down after talking in another language just for a couple of hours and I would struggle – so much – to think before talking and translating, it was exhausting! I needed a nap every time I returned home.
On the 15th day I realized what was going on in my life as I was walking through the fountains at La Concorde in Paris; I suddenly felt a wave of exhaustion running over me and I needed to sit down and it was then, in that moment, while I was watching dozens of tourist taking pictures, ambulant sales man selling souvenirs or crêpes and locals jogging, it all felt so real… I could hear the leaves breaking as people stepped on them, I could smell the sugar and pollution in the air, I could feel the wind the metro left behind. I became alert to every sense in my body and it felt like I have woken up from a distant foggy dream; I realized I was in another country, experimenting another culture and language and I couldn’t help but feel amazed by it.
On the 20th day, after 3 weeks the change was notorious, my brain switched to French, it became my default language, my style changed after seeing so many locals and the Parisian style, my body adapted to the temperature, my way of getting ready changed so radical that when I went to pick up some friends from Mexico at the airport and I got ready the same way as I would in Mexico, I felt the urgent need to take the make up off in the train, I felt like I was betraying my true self by putting on a fake layer of skin and features.
So many parisians don’t wear make up and I find that so beautiful, comfortable and empowering that I had to experiment it too, I can’t even remember how many years it has been since I wore nothing but mascara… – but going back to the changes your mind and body go trough, you almost feel like a new person, I think that’s what I love the most about traveling… It’s a fresh start every time. You obtain a new identity from the country you’re within, and at the same time you change your personality from your country of origin, you also rediscover the beauty of home.
I think one does not travel to find themselves, we travel to be profoundly lost, physically and mentality, we swim in a lagoon of experiences and memories, we get so lost we don’t know who we are anymore, and in that moment you become your true self; when you stop trying and your beautiful characteristics begin to float.
To all of you, my long time traveling friends and those who dream of leaving, don’t be afraid to get lost, you’ll find beauty in unexpected places.
Kora S. // @kora_salas