The past month has seen the death of a number of people who have heavily influenced me in my life.

Each of the three I mention here are the reasons why I travel, to get out of my own life and experience new views, cultures, history, and people.

Anthony Bourdain – for the desire to feel and experience the world by what we eat, no matter where it takes us.

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed pope-mobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” – Kitchen Confidential, Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

I know what he means, maybe not the fish head… I remember touring the curry market in Galle Sri Lanka with a woman who was collecting ingredients for her special recipe for fish/chicken and beef curry, just a bit less hot for me. To follow a specialist in the subtleties of the creation of curry astounded me. I now look at a pot of curry and marvel at the ingredients and the vast variety in which they come.

To travel is to taste the world and all it holds secret. To collect those secrets as your own; to meld your life into something quite amazing.

Travel Now for the taste of Life!

Aretha Franklin – Oh my how I could and still can feel her sound! Aretha’s singing was not just words it was a feeling that hit you right where it mattered. You felt that way because it was something real. Something that you knew was long term both before and toward the future. It took you on a trip to where you most needed to go at that time. Emotional, joyful, and eternal.

On reality competition music shows like “American Idol”: It’s a fast track to the top if you really got it going on. But I like the way I came up in the industry. It wasn’t too fast. It wasn’t overnight, but little by little. And gradually I grew in the industry. I like that more than the overnight sensation, as one might put it. I was able to learn along the way, and grow at a very, very nice pace — my pace, really. I wasn’t thrust into anything I wasn’t ready for.” (July 2014 – Detroit Free Press)

That is travel… slow and steady, at your own pace, to get to feel the people, taste the food, and hear the music of the locals’ life and hear all for which it stands.

Travel Now for the music of Life!

Senator John McCain – as the son of a life military man, I understood, John McCain, at least from a military perspective. John McCain believed in travel but to meet the powerful leaders of the world and the people that were hidden and had no power. He traveled to see the men and women of the US who were deployed to see how they were. He traveled to learn, to reach out, and to understand. While one may not agree with all of his positions or you may agree with them, you had a deep respect for him. He had an ability to know the right thing to do and to apologize. He understood the we must strive for the best in each of us and to support all peoples particularly the bullied, the poor, and the unheard.

In his memoir Faith of My Fathers:

“In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then, but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americans enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn’t until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.”

Through travel and when you return home, wherever that may be, is the feeling of being home with family, work, and friends. I say work, because I have work that I love and wish that for all people. Travel allows us to leave our safe cocoon and experience the world. We come home and hopefully bring back that which is good and learn what does not work and leads to confusion and frustration. Travel is my life’s way to eating new dishes, hearing a new heart beat of music, and reaching out to understand.

Travel Now to understand Life!

Have an amazing day. Kleon