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An Ode To Traveling, by Amy

Traveling is bug bites and bruises. Aching feet and a stiff neck. Awkward stares and miscommunication. Living out of a bag. Existing in the moment, while preparing for the future. Carrying your own toilet paper and soap. Closing your mouth in the shower. Smiling when you don't understand. Fighting with the wifi. Gazing out the window. Taking it all in. Uknowingly violating social customs. Inviting laughs. For some people, you are the attraction—get used to it. Traveling means jam-packed buses and trains. Waiting and worrying. Mindless hours of endless thoughts. Memories swirling like dust.

So load up on snacks. Wear ear-plugs. Push through the fatigue. Lather on sun screen. Pack light. Wash your clothes in the sink. Forsake fashion. Always layer. Buy more Band-Aids. Sleep burrito-style on hard beds. Double check the room. Leave no trace. Don't fall for the trap. Roll with the punches, for there will be many. Push or get pushed. Learn to say thank you, bathroom, delicious. Grin and nod. Make friends. Acquiesce to photo requets. Know when to trust, know when to leave, how much it costs. Seek a global ATM. Don't phone home. Send postcards. Bargain-shop for small gifts. Keep a journal. Try new things. Run to catch the bus, leave time for the plane. Plan and change plans. Charge and recharge. Ask and answer. Listen to your gut. Be brave, and let go.

words and photo by Amy Dupcak

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