One of my favourite movies is Good Will Hunting which stars Matt Damon and the late Robin Williams. In the famous bench scene of the movie, psychiatrist Sean Maguire (Robin) talks to the highly gifted but troubled young adult Will Hunting (Matt) who has never been out of the city of Boston in his life. Sitting on this bench with Will, Sean talks about the value of experiencing the world by traveling. He says: So if I asked you about art you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that.
As Will Hunting I can’t tell you (yet) what it smells like inside the Sistine Chapel. However I can tell you what it feels like to stand at the foot of a skyscraper on Manhattan (they are beyond huge). And what it’s like on the Jemaa el-Fnaa square in the old town of Marrakech (there are actual snake charmers). And the smell of durian on the streets of Kuala Lumpur (it tastes better than it smells).
One of my absolute favourite things to do in life is to travel, and preferably with my family. When our children were 10 and 11 years old, my husband and I made a conscious decision to focus on traveling instead of collecting more material things. We have since been privileged to experience many different countries, continents and cultures together with our children. Afterwards, each trip is represented with a photo and a locally-bought magnet on our fridge as a reminder of our family adventures.
The indian novelist Anita Desai said:
Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.
To me this is so true! The more I travel, the more I learn about myself and what makes me me. Traveling makes me feel like a citizen of the world, rather than one specific country. Traveling also helps me in being aware of my deep privilege in my life in this world; seeing firsthand how people in other countries live and work makes me feel humble and grateful for everything in my life.
Among others, my travel wishlist includes travels to India, Africa, Oceania and the US west coast (preferably when the country has elected a different president). But right now, my family and I are on another adventure: living in Spain. It’s one of the most wonderful, crazy, complicated and adventurous things we have done together so far.
The final scene of Good Will Hunting shows Will in his car, driving off into the sunset to go and live with his girlfriend on the US west coast. This summer our car will also travel into a different direction and that is up north to our home in Sweden again. This trip through Europe will mark the end of our Spain adventure and the beginning of the next chapter of our life back in Sweden again. I’m excited to see what happens next! But one thing is for sure: whatever happens next, we will definitely strive to continue our travels. I’m always looking for tips so if you have any favourite destinations you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment!
Photo: Nick Fewings – unsplash.com