A Year of Travel. 1 Second Per Day

by Stephen D'Andrea Jan 10, 2017

While this video aims to paint a small but grand picture of the extraordinary world we live in it fails to show a large part of what long term travel is. Solitude. A longing for the familiar. Learning things about yourself that are at times painful, at others delightful. Some difficult to internalize, all of them surprising.

I hope these images ignite something in you. Resonate with something lying dormant deep down under the layered sediment of familiar motions and age. Crawl through your memory and strike a chord that sends a shiver down your spine. A jolt that will thrust you into the world in all your wonder so you may see all of it’s own. I hope this video makes you feel the way I do when I think back on the last year of my life. Grateful for the world we live in, the people we share it with, and the opportunity we have to experience everything with eyes wide and bright.

All the good, the bad, and the wild.

After spending nearly a year on a meandering road around the globe I have now been home for one month. Writing this on top an air mattress in what is now my five month old niece’s nursery I’m struggling to find words to describe the plethora of emotions that have consumed me these past weeks.

Not many people talk about the aftermath of extended travel. I’d like to share some of what I’m feeling at the moment. What it’s like to look back on what is possibly the most amazing thing I will ever do. To know truly know that. The wonderful sadness of it. The truth is I am in mourning. As if I have lost a great love and there is a divide that can not be bridged. Suffering from the postpartum depression of a wanderlust soul born again into the static world.

Around about this exact same time last year, I was tossing and turning looking for relief in the blank sleepless ocean ceiling. Desperately grasping for sleep before my flight to Honolulu. A one way ticket, no timeline, no set plan. Terrified at my core, every nerve ending pulsating with fear. Millions of scenarios rocketing from one cavern of my mind to the next, endlessly gaining momentum. The mental equivalent of a particle accelerator speeding up protons to near light speed just to smash them together and see what spirals out.

Now, after one year tumbling through the industrial strength drying machine of the world I have been spit out red hot and wrapped around the pale winter light. Still crackling spittles of static electric memories that are blurring as my body cools under the short sun. Where once there was the bone tingling anticipation of the great unknown now only lie shadows in the form of memories. The unknown is known and I am left grieving.

I cannot with any certainty say why I set off on this adventure. Often I think it was simply to see if I could do it. A test of sorts. People said it would change me. I do not feel that is the case. Change rarely comes in an instant. You wouldn’t react to a situation the same as your fifteen year old self. But can you recall the moment in which your behaviors change? It’s a slow and arduous process that accumulates over many moments stacked atop one another influencing the next. If I am changed, surely I’d be none the wiser.

What I am is eternally grateful for the experience and lessons I have learned. For all the wonderful people that shared time with me and taught me so many new things about the world and myself. This wanderlust in me is incurable. It’s taken root deep in my heart long ago. Some people are painters, builders, adrenaline junkies; I am an experience hunter. Until my friendly demon comes to call for my soul again I will begin to build a new life. One I hope to make more fluid, allowing for greater flexibility. As the great Hunter S. Thompson said “We must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal.”

With that thought I challenge you to go forth and create the world you wish to live in. Be the change you wish to see. It may never be easy but it will always be interesting.

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