I was asked by my wife to fill in the blank: Travel is _______, and without any thought I answered, LIFE.
Travel is Life, I repeated.
A strong statement, considering that so many variables make up the composite that is Life. In reality, if I were to really break it down, my life is defined by three variables, that being Faith, Hope, and Love. Throughout my life, one of the three will find it’s way to waver and I find myself floating. It’s during those times that I am anchored by travel.
Travel is Faith
It was six in the evening when we walked down Las Ramblas toward Barceloneta. My daughter had the floating device we had bought her earlier in the day under her arm, and my wife with her new hat, the type that gave her maximum shade. I was getting beaten down by the sun and life, the moment was passing me by.
It was a year when my resolution and faith tested if there was any left. Upon reaching the promenade, an elderly gentleman slowly passed by on a bike made for a girl. The color on the bike was in the aqua variety and it literally had all the bells and whistles on it. The rider had to have been no less than 60 years of age, riding around in his birthday suit. He winked at me, and we all had a good laugh. I was in tears. Tears of laughter and joy. The water had a gentle way about it that evening, the sun forgiving and life a bit more worth living. It restored my faith.
Travel is Hope
Cartagena was the next big destination. Colombia was making a statement as a destination worth visiting. The town of Cartagena had everything one would dream of in a perfect Latin America destination. People were wonderful and engaging. The food, fatty and so bad for you that it was good. It had that Mission/Colonized feel about it. Moreover, the dollar went far. One day, we hired a car to take us to a fort on top of a hill. Along the way, we passed through neighborhoods that were masked by the beauty of the main town. There were squalor and poverty. As we passed through with our car, we noticed young people from an organization helping out the people in need. Upon pointing it out to my daughter, she quipped how she wanted to do that one day. The future gave me hope.
Travel is Love
In a small bar, enough to occupy no more than a dozen people at a time, I sat at a small round table with the most beautiful girl I have ever known. “Otherside” by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers was the song of the moment, and she and I sang along to the lyrics, “How long, how long will I slide?”. I never thought Florence to be my favorite destination until that night. On that night, I knew that I needed to slide right into her arms, her life. I will forever have an affinity for Florence, due to just one moment. A moment we all call Love.
Where is the Faith, where is the Hope, and where is the Love?
Life is Travel.
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Andrew Tolentino is the Co-Founder and Head Writer of Dish Our Town. Follow Andrew, Brenda (his wife) and Bailey (their daughter) at Dish Our Town, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.