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Why I Travel

I travel because it makes me feel.

I travel for the highs and for the lows.

For the moment when you’re walking through a park and you see a snapshot of a family’s life. A father and mother showing their child the beauty of their world contained in the millions of leaves around them, and how to listen to the birds sing.

For the lonesome travels down the nameless roads of the great societies of humanity. Where the cobbles are worn down by time, and the comings and goings of their citizens tell a story.

For the shared conversations with a stranger over a beer in a dimly lit tavern. Confessing both of your longings and how your hearts used to feel more than they do in that eternal moment.

For the sadness of not knowing when you’ll see a place that has changed you again. Or how you may never find the words to tell of the ways it did.

I travel to see how the gypsies con in their search for a home.

To see how the Irish dance when all their sheep are out to rest.

I travel to see strangers eyes meet, in a world that is becoming too mad for love. To see their spark and that draw, some sort of fatal attraction. How they stare into each others soul and see a new hope and decide that it is okay to love.

I travel to be connected to this holy world. To experience the kiss of a thousand winds. To see a hundred suns, and to love under the mother moon.

To see ancient trees in a countryside that is foreign and wondrous to my soul, and older than any fairy tale that I’ve ever read. For these are the lands that legends reside in and that the old come to die.

I travel to share my gospel and ideas and cry when people share theirs with me. But thank them when they open my eyes and soul to a new unknown world.

I travel to see how the architects and intellectuals of a time gone by used to think.

I travel to spite wall street. To humiliate Hollywood. And to take pictures that no one but myself will see.

To hear all the languages I don’t know and so they may sweeten my ears with their strange poetic lullaby.

I travel to see the slums and their sad glory. To look upon all those who occupy them and try to learn their individual stories. Of how a woman surrounded by a mountain of rags used to sing, or how the man with grease smeared all over his skin used to dream of college.

I travel in search for my next great awakening, and to be sideswiped by adventures that could have never been foretold, foreseen, or fantasized. But will never be forgotten.

Travel kills my prejudices and neutralizes my hate. The smiles of all the people I’ll never know fill me up while I try to learn the names of all those who have dreams.

I travel because one day my feet won’t wonder anymore. All I’ll have will be the places I’ve been, and the memories I’ve come to cherish. I know that one day I won’t be defined by a place, but shaped by all.

Travel is an age old past time. But one that has no rule book and is open to all those who feel. Has given fuel for revolutionary ideas, fostered the most moving of writings, and been the conduit for escapism.

Travel will always be in my soul and I’ll always be bound to wonder no matter where I am…

Words by Jeremy Parris // Photography by Ash Bishop.

© 2015 Reef Magazine


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