I write for many reasons and sometimes no reason at all. I’ve always written. I guess that makes me a writer. On this particular blog, I most often describe my travels in a positive, if not downright glorious, light. I love it and I want others to love it too. So it makes complete sense to wax poetic and shine a spotlight on the absolute joy that is travel.
Except that travel isn’t always glamourous, or fun, or life changing…
I recently had a conversation with a friend and fellow traveller where I brought up the idea of authenticity. I questioned my habits and wondered if I am doing the world (ie. my readers) a disservice by filtering my experiences? Is it disingenuous to only paint part of the picture?
I recently wrote about North Carolina, which was surprisingly beautiful. A very underrated state in my opinion. At least in autumn. In the Appalachians. But, what I didn’t write about was the 18 hour travel debacle that ensued when my flight home was delayed two hours, resulting in a multitude of missed connections, frantic rescheduling, lengthy layovers, and very little sleep. Oh… and I was late for work. Is that how I want to remember my trip? Of course not. But, it is the very real possibility when traveling. Things can go epically wrong and ruin even the best laid plans.
I have on occasion written about past travel disasters because they often make for some pretty good stories. But, most of the time I try to highlight the positives. I am so very grateful for my life and the choices and good fortune that have enabled me to live so many of my dreams. So then, I wonder, where is the line?
To truly live honestly, I want to refocus my efforts on storytelling. As much as I love top ten lists or quick guides to 48 hours in a new hip city… really anyone can write about that stuff. But, no one can tell my story like me. No one can write about the people that I meet on the road or my feelings about a new culture. Only I can tell my story. And for better or worse, I am going to tell it.
I don’t want to remember my life through rose coloured glasses when my eyes see 20/20 just fine. I know that travel can handle the truth. The struggle is real and it’s worth it.