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On this occasion, our traveling friend is our partner and editor Víctor Zamorano.
In a very personal text, he explains to us what the word “travel” means to him and how his way of traveling has evolved over the years. Do not miss your thoughts.
Closer and closer
When the guys from TuBillete offered me the opportunity to write something personal for this blog, the truth is that I didn’t even know where to start. Or rather, I had no idea why they wanted me to write my reflections.
I like to travel, like almost everyone else, and I don’t distinguish myself by making especially spectacular or inspiring trips. Maybe that’s why they asked me, now that I think about it.
Remembering a little I have realised that this summer was 20 years ago that I went by train to Istanbul, my first long trip. And I realise that little by little, my way of travelling and my goals have been changing…
The world is mine!
Thinking about it, I realise that I’m travelling closer and slower all the time. When I started travelling on my own, it was like, I guess, everybody. I wanted to see everything, to go as far as possible, to get to know those places that were almost mythical references: Paris, New York, Istanbul, Torremolinos…
That first trip I referred to was an Interrail with my sister, a friend and a girlfriend. A month fully exploring the railway systems of southern Europe, visiting emblematic monuments and desolate stations, always with the backpack on the back, full of those unique moments that we all live in a first travel experience..
I realise now that that whirlwind of experience defined some constants in the way I travel later. For example, that it is better not to leave home with too high expectations; that it is possible to have a good time for very little money; and that what is important is not the destination itself, but the path we make to get there.
Then circumstances took me to other places. Mexico, Holland, Brazil, Sweden, Egypt, Cuba… It became increasingly clear to me that the experiences I was looking for I wouldn’t find them doing tourist circuits or spending three days in the cities that it seems obligatory to visit.
I realised that it was worth travelling slower and spending more time in places that were attractive to me, even if I went to fewer places. So it took me longer and longer to get anywhere. I replaced the fastest transports with others closer to the ground, such as motorcycles or bicycles. Or the feet.
I was also getting further and further away from the emblematic places. For example, when I tell people that in two weeks in Egypt I saw nothing but Cairo, or that in six months in Rio de Janeiro I didn’t get on the Corcovado, they look at me like a freak.
At first, those strange looks enchanted me, this “travelling against the tide” made me swell like a turkey. I came to abhor overcrowded tourist environments and feel superior, a non-tourist. Blessed ignorance…
Then I saw that I was not unique, that many before me had opted to look at the small, the anonymous, and the close, and turn away from the essential, the exotic, the special. I followed some of them for a while, and I learned.
It seems to me that it’s not so much about where you go and what you see as it is about the effect it has on you. Of the changes caused by these experiences. Actually, there is nothing better or worse in one way or another to know the world; but I am staying, more and more, with what is near.
The journey of the snail
The last few years I have not come very far, as far as distance is concerned, although I have known some regions quite well by wandering around them for weeks or months. I have had the privilege of being able to stop in undoubtedly vulgar places all the time I wanted.
I hadn’t even heard of most of those places before I arrived; I’m thinking of the French Cévennes, for example, or the lush forests of northern Albania. The last time I went to Istanbul was in a van and it took us almost eight months…
A couple of years ago we enlarged the family; as you can imagine, travel has taken a back seat. And yet, I’m still learning; there’s so much to discover just around the corner!
Traveling Friends: Víctor Zamorano
Nuestra comunidad de Amigos Viajeros
Amigos viajeros de diferentes nacionalidades nos cuentan sus viajes y destinos favoritos, así como sus experiencias más increíbles, reflexiones, vivencias y opiniones. Además, nos muestran con sus fotografías y vídeos los bellos rincones de nuestro planeta que han visitado.
Our community of Friends Travelers
Traveling friends of different nationalities tell us about their favorite trips and destinations, as well as their most incredible experiences, reflections, experiences and opinions. In addition, they show us with their photographs and videos the beautiful corners of our planet that they have visited.