when traveling, i take a notebook. to pair with the camera. because scenes can never be fully re-lived in the retrospect without every piece immortalized in every sense. and the takeaways can be forgotten if not inscribed straight from your heart to pen to paper. poetry is the best summation of everything seen, then felt, then versed.

when traveling, i breathe with searching gasps. i want to memorialize the scents of every twist and turn. the air feels different because it is filled with the connotations of adventure. your tether that ties you so close to your comfort is stretched and snapped, and here you are, free in a thrilling way, thrust out into a piece of life you haven’t experienced before.

when traveling, i grow easily impatient. because there is so much at task to condense. i pry into the hidden movements of strangers, i search for what little mundane routines compose the daily culture in this new place. i flit from moment to moment and land in the tiny cusps of details in the bustle of city.

when traveling, i am stripped bare. my ability to pass secrets to my mother about the people we see is overturned, every language is spoken on these streets. foreign vocabulary i’ve mindlessly hammered into myself stitches itself into conversations picked up from couples walking behind me. i am a visitor in these parts, my life is a visit that i want to take around every hostel of a country that blinks a welcome vacancy.

when traveling, i forget myself. pointedly staring at anything new that enraptures me because it exudes some encapsulation of a former life. skyscrapers are what i pictured it would feel like to achieve, the ring of the candy store door is what my childhood sounded like, the river is lapping echoes of my friends’ laughter from back home. i find old things about me in new sights.

when traveling, i send off a love letter to the metropolis. mailing it to the fragrance of an unknown twilight.

“i yearn to be as cosmopolitan as this urban crowd
as rich as the peaceful park, as saturated with the happiness and frustation and spontaneity of ten million lives.
each person contains a separate culture, background, story.
each place has carefully held so many footsteps.
each destination has given me the capacity to imagine and learn and coalesce the two skills into a stretch of horizon.
the metropolis pulses as my heart bursts and all emotions travel out
with the curiosity and love and excitement running across the streets
each trying to find the part of this city
that they belong to.”

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