C U L T U R E.
lately I’ve been dwelling on this word. culture. sometimes words can seem to be “over used”. we hear words like “cultured” – “travel” – “adventure” and quickly dismiss the powerful meaning behind these important, impactful words. but when you think about it. when you truly think about it. these words are not “over used”. in fact we should be excited for society. excited that society is eager to “travel” to share in “adventure” and to experience “culture”.
nothing is more beautiful than culture. culture is the face of the world. the many faces of the world. I travel to learn. to broaden my perspective towards life. and to adjust my thinking. if you don’t travel, you start to believe that community gossip could tear you apart. that your way of doing things is the only way of doing things. that the world you’ve seen is all that there is to see. this career is the only option. that material things matter and bring you happiness. and that everything you are so deeply passionate about are the only things to be passionate about.
but when you travel, you LEARN. your eyes are opened and your perspective broadens right before you. you realize everything you’ve ever taken for granted. that life can be as simple as you choose to make it. you see not just the face of the world, but the many faces of the world. her sense of humor, her personality, her insecurities, her learning curves, and her wisdom. and you realize everything you thought you “needed” – every materialistic thing you thought to be so necessary – is completely unnecessary.
you may be wondering why I titled this “just for one night”. well as I mentioned, “culture” has been dwelling heavily on my mind lately. and every time I think of this word, my new friend comes to mind.
he lives out in the Sahara desert. he works at the dunes as he pleases and when he’s decided he’s just done, that he doesn’t “feel” like working anymore – he moves on. but he will always come back because the Sahara is home, he says.
when asking me where I was from he said, “oh I’ve been there.” I was not only shocked but excited to have found a common ground. then when he had asked our friends if they were from Mexico he said “yeah, I’ve been there.” we also had friends from China that were gathered around the fire, dancing under the stars with us. when they had asked him if he knew Chinese he said “yes a little bit, I’ve been to China once before” but then he proceeded to say “just for one night.” the Chinese woman asked “just for one night?” “all that way for one night?” he said “yeah. just one” and then we all began to laugh. afterwards he added “in my dreams.” we all quickly realized that he had never been to Hawaii, or Mexico, or China for that matter. and also that he had a pretty tricky sense of humor which we now all caught onto.
but he then explained that he “dreams of the world.” he sees the world when other cultures come to him. and he “sees the world” when he learns from the people he meets. he explained to us that most natives of Morocco do not have the privilege nor the money to travel. but he doesn’t allow this setback to hold him back. he experiences culture by his perspective. by learning from the travelers that pass through the desert. he knows more languages than just about anybody I know and has found a way to connect with just about every culture through humor. he also told me that after traveling the entire world, after seeing just about every country “just for one night” – that the Sahara is his favorite place in the world. he says its the most beautiful, peaceful and collected place in the world. so far from what I’ve seen, I’d have to agree with him.
what he taught me was to be thankful for what I have. to not take the “option” to travel for granted. especially as a woman. woman from his country are forbidden to leave. if they do, they will be viewed as irresponsible and selfish for not having children. for not carrying on the family legacy. whereas our woman are viewed as “strong”- “independent” – “level headed” and “beautiful” for traveling. I will never forget his words. he also taught me that you are never limited. he sees the world just as much as I do, in his own creative and open hearted ways.
– thoughts : Morocco –
xx Ciara Torres