When you travel solo, you never really travel alone. You are constantly meeting people and traveling together, or maybe even just having a couple of beers together. The first time I really backpacked I did it alone and worried that I would get lonely. Instead it was easier for me to meet people because I was forced to and I didn’t have a crutch of a travel mate to lean on. It was the best growth experience of my life. Today we focus on Solo Travelers. Today we focus on writers, this is Mark Mendiola Guerra and this is why he travels:
TRAVEL: MORE THAN JUST “GOING PLACES”
Travel. The word conjures up so many different images. From packed bags and luxury hotels to sleek airports and dusty lonely beaches. Add to that, the idea of “going places” and you have a crude definition of travel for most. For me, it extends beyond this and involves not just “going places”, but what I do once I arrive there.
A quality exchange and shared experience I have with the locals is what I consider travel in its best form. No tour, trinket or endless poolside lounging will ever take the place of this. For me, it’s more about sharing and leaving a part of myself in a newly minted relationship that matters. To go places and not engage with others is a major misfortune I try my best to avoid in spite of language barriers or other obstacles in front of me.
So, it’s not the number of blurred little stamps on my passport that counts, or the cool souvenir that quickly gets lost in the shuffle, but the quality of experiences and number of great relationships I’ve established in “going places”. A pack full of email addresses, numbers and names to some great new acquaintances outweighs any space-eating knick-knack, and for me, validates my true definition of travel.
Mark is a third-generation Texan living in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade now. As a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, he embraces his creative pursuits of acting and writing. And, though he enjoys travel and writing about all parts of this planet, his enthusiastic focus remains on Mexico. Hasta luego!
You can follow Mark on twitter, but also be sure to look out for his website which should be launching soon.