I watched a show on Netflix that took place in Philadelphia. The woman was on a bus, and she pulled the cord to alert the driver to her stop.
I remember doing that, knowing that. I didn’t take the bus a lot growing up. I don’t ride the bus now, but I know about the cord. I also know that in some places, the cable is now a button.
I realized I learned this and so much more by traveling, being in places outside my norm where I had to watch and listen to get around.
Notoriously forgetful, I am often frustrated that I can’t remember which towns I’ve been to or where we were that time we left the hotel in the middle of the night.
This weekend while watching a brief history of Boys II Men, it dawned on me that it’s okay that I can’t remember those things because I know how to ride a bus. Navigating underground stations, I can do that too. I recall the energy of the people in places I’ve been.
Smells, tastes, feelings. Those are my jam.
Arrondissement, intersections, dates, or even names are always going to escape me. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that my brain doesn’t work that way. I have to write those things down, study them if I want to remember, and even then, there’s a fifty-fifty chance I will forget.
That’s not wrong or a defect. It’s me.
Traveling is an education on every level. Just like in the classroom, some take in the facts and figures. Others remember concepts or quotes. Some of us are visual learners, and others have to study.
Same with traveling. There are people who can recall every meal from a trip or which museum held their favorite artwork. Still more remember the landscape or landmarks.
Again, like learning, there is no right way to travel. No right way to recall.
I learned the joy of eating with my hands in Italy. I mastered how to walk with purpose and order without chit-chat in New York City. Tokyo taught me to pay attention and the kindness of strangers. I learned to relax in Costa Rica and tie a proper scarf in London. My favorite color, black is a color for all seasons, so says Paris. Every room I decorate in our home has bits of Amsterdam.
I am changed. My life is changed for the better each time I leave my place for another, even if I can’t tell you when or how I got there.
My thoughts from the laundry room. お休みなさい