The need for exploration

In the same way that your tongue seeks out the space left by a missing tooth, or the way your hands caress different fabrics as they slip through the fingers, my feet crave foreignness. They are desiring that unknown element that comes with venturing into another country and knowing that the earth beneath my feet is something both ancient to the world and yet new to me.

I am driven by that quest for knowledge of hidden textures, other lives and unexplored possibilities. I need to be free to explore and lose myself completely, if but for a short while.

I want to be unknown to others and forget who I was or who I am.
I want no agendas and no constraints.
I want to slip away in a crowd and be swept along by nothing more than my mood or some fleeting thought or desire.

I crave nothingness and yet I want to experience everything. I want to know how it feels to breathe the air in Italy. I want to see the wonders of Africa with my own eyes. I want to know what it’s like to take in the view from the Eiffel Tower. I want to reach out and touch the bark of an ancient tree in New Zealand. These are things that cannot be told and cannot be read, they need to be done for one’s self and savoured as an individual sensory experience.

I want to feel with my fingers pressed against a wall, sense through the ground beneath my feet and imagine with my mind all that has come before. I want to soak in the knowledge that history has passed underneath my hand, beneath my feet or under my gaze. I want to take this knowledge to heart and be thankful for it. I want to be reminded that at this point in time or at this place many more have come before and looked upon this spot or felt the grit beneath their fingers in much the same way as me.

I want to sense all that is still yet to pass. I want to recognise that time does not wait, that everything moves, everything changes, and nothing remains the same. This cannot be done at a distance. It is necessary to reach out and place yourself directly in such a moment to remember, because in the end sometimes memories are all that remain.

While my being in a place at a particular time may not be recognised and recorded by all, such visits do go down in one version of history. They become part of my own personal history. Though these records may never be written they will be with me always and turned to time and time again.

15 Comments

  1. Dan

    Wow, words can’t describe how exact that is to how I feel about life as well, although you say it much more poeticly, maybe if I keep reading some of it will rub off on me, worth a shot.

  2. Tisha

    phenomenal Tracey I felt that hunger for knowledge through your words and having the ability to move people that way is a gift!

  3. Tracey

    Hi Dan – I’m so glad you were able to find something of yourself in those words. I’m sure there are many people who feel the same way about that need to grab true life experiences and savour them. Those people that I don’t understand are the ones who treat travel as an annoyance, as something to be done just to tick off a box and say it has been done…being able to see the world and live in the moment at a place and in a time is a privilege and I hope more people come to see it as such. Cheers.

    Hi Tisha – Thanks for your lovely words. Sometimes you just can’t ignore those words that want to come out and appear to the rest of the world, you just have to go ahead and write them down. The next step is hoping that people can take some pleasure or comfort in reading them. πŸ˜‰

  4. LuckySnap

    I really felt the longing in your words. The way you stated it had such emotion that there was like a gravity pulling me in. I think you did speak for so many people in this world. Beautifully written.

  5. clarissa

    Spot on.

    I have fantasies of disappearing and reinventing myself always somewhere else.

  6. Tracey

    Hi LuckySnap – You say such lovely things…always ensuring that you bring a warm smile to my face. All we can hope to do in life is honestly express the way we feel. 8)

    Hi Clarissa – I know just what you mean. While having a place to call home, surrounded by familiar people and familiar places is important, there is also that call to ‘wildness’ or the unknown that can be equally strong.

  7. Heza

    Awesome post. There are times I feel the need for the very exploration you so eloquently describe and other times I just want to enjoy what I know in my surroundings. I can’t help feeling a bit sad that despite all my efforts I won’t be able to know and experience everything. But still the drive is there. Best wishes in all your adventures.

  8. Tracey

    Hi Heza – Thanks for your thoughts. I know what you mean about being caught between two opposing forces – that desire to really belong somewhere, and that need to spread our wings and travel…the best of both worlds would be nice. It is difficult to accept that despite our best intentions and strongest laid plans, we just won’t get to everything on the list of potential possible experiences…I guess all we can do is focus on the positive. I wish also for you the best of times in all your journeys…Cheers.

  9. hazel

    This was a superb read. I enjoyed it as much as a morning coffee in its natural environment, “clasped between two cold hands first thing in the morning.” πŸ™‚
    I’ve had a case of what I call itchy feet my whole life. It was astonishing to read someone else’s account of a similar impulse to move, travel, and stretch personal space and boundaries. Nicely written. Actually each of the entries I’ve read so far are well written. A pleasure to browse.

  10. Tracey

    Hi Hazel – I really loved your words, and I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed some of mine…that is just so lovely.

    I think so many of us can relate to that ‘itchy feet’ syndrome. While some people are quite content to stay in one place their whole lives, many others of us crave the unknown…that need to explore…I can’t wait for my future journeys to begin. I think it is through travel that we can learn much not just about the world, but about ourselves.

    I do hope you’ll return again soon, and hopefully find something else which interests you! 8)

  11. Dan

    Just so you know the final paragraph of this entry has been immortalised in the random quotes on my page along with quotes from people like Buddha and Jack Kerouac I think yours touches something in this case in the same way and thats pretty special.

  12. Tracey

    Hi Dan – That is just so lovely of you…I am honoured to be considered amongst such distinguished company. It has been really wonderful to find so many other people feel the way that I do about the need to travel – I’m glad you’re amongst them. 8)

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  14. Jeff Polley

    You can carve that on my tombstone – good stuff Tracey!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jeff – Thanks so much for your comment. It seems there are many like-minded lovers of travel out there in the world. Heading off on a grand adventure should be in order! πŸ™‚

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