“Not all those who wander are lost.” J. R. R. Tolkien
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His journey is long and very intense. At times his motivation and will to continue are as abundant as water during a long drought. Comfort and routine no longer accompany his days. The sharp change in weather patterns and altitudes, from hot to cold, to high to low, to dry to humid, are very demanding on the body. But his inner desire for adventure, thirst for inspiration and curiosity to discover new stimulating environments, continue to push him far past his limits.
Whether he is staring at a blank piece of paper alone in his cheap hotel room or about to board a ship, taking a 60-hour voyage to an unknown land. Each moment and each decision is what shape his journey and provide him with the spiritual nourishment he needs to complete his mission.
What’s the reason we feel the need to travel so far and leave the comfort of our homes? Why must we endure the dramatic cultural changes brought on by visiting new countries? Such changes can be quite drastic and challenge our own lifelong customs, which we spent years developing.
However, isn’t it good to see life through the eyes of a new and exciting culture? To experience things which would never occur in our hometown. For instance, imagine seeing for the first time the birth of an exotic animal in the wild, an elephant, or perhaps a baby jaguar in the jungle, taking his first breaths of air. As we watch with eyes wide open, this would be a truly magical sight. One which isn’t possible to see, unless one decides to make those initial steps and take a long expedition across continents and oceans.
To travel is to learn and experience life on a different level. On a different plane of thought. Without need for reason, or necessity to explain to anyone where you will go, what you will do, how you’ll get by, or even where your next meal will come from.
Each day on the road is another opportunity to experience a new part of our amazing world. To learn about fascinating cultures and evolve from each new civilization we encounter. We discover new ways to accomplish tasks and our artwork can begin to show richness and maturity. Which only comes from the connections we have with these new peoples and places, who we force ourselves to meet.
Adventure will never come knocking on your door early some Sunday morning, no you must go out of your way to make it happen. And the work you create in the future will be that much more profound. It will have depth and allure. It will be a reflection of your interesting life, and the eyes of the traveling artist will continue to contemplate each passing occurrence with a deeper sense of purpose and understanding.
Like a tornado gathering debris and random objects as it moves across the land, he also gathers artistic inspiration and momentum as he continues on his journey. It can be difficult to take all this information and transform it into a presentable and lasting work of art. Something which will be appreciated as an object of beauty. A piece which can be proudly displayed in any home or maybe even make it to an important museum one day. That is the task at hand, our marvelous mission, to find inspiration from our surroundings. And the more we travel, the more we see and encounter, the more information we have to process. We will need to find a way to convert these memories into something that will last throughout the ages.
To essentially capture everlasting beauty, and form it into an object. Whether working with pen on paper, a handmade wooden sculpture, or an independent film. The medium we decide to use to express our artistic thoughts to others is a personal choice and is irrelevant. As all artistic mediums have the potential for magnificence. Our travels will help to guide and show us the direction we must take in order to finish our work.
As art begins to unfold before your eyes, give it the chance to grow and blossom. Let it have a voice, let that voice be an inspirational force of strength and wisdom. Let the traveling artist come around with his works and his thoughts intact, after they have been gathering in his mind throughout his long campaign. Let them find a place to rest, a place to call home in his artwork. And let us finally behold the labors of his hands, his wit, and his instruments, richly thanking and embracing him for his accomplishments.
How has traveling changed your life as an artist?