Monday, March 28, 2005

Travel as Paulo Coelho writes in “The Pilgrimage”

Travel as Paulo Coelho writes in “The Pilgrimage” makes us see the world in a new light, “ . . . since all things are new, you see only the beauty in things and feel happy to be alive.”

Ernesto “Che/Fuser” Guevara narrates a similar experience in “The Motorcycle Diaries.” Traveling with his biochemist friend Alfredo Granado in a motorcycle from Buenos Aires Argentina to the San Pablo leper colony in Peruvian Amazon starting in December 1951, he asked himself towards the end of his journey, “Was my vision too narrow? … wandering around America has changed me more than I thought. I am not myself anymore. At least, I’m not the same me I was.”

This is a turnaround from his earlier viewpoint on why he and his buddy are traveling. Asked by marginalized miners why they travel, he answered, “We travel just to travel.”

As a result of this experience that spanned over 12,000 kilometers in Latin America for seven months, he saw a different world full of oppression and injustice and acted on changing it by founding a revolutionary communist and latino movement. (Years after his violent death in 1967, Che Guevara gained a mythical stature symbolizing rebellion and zeal.)

This 4 day Holy Week respite allowed us the chance to move out of our base for whatever our purpose. It could either be of these two extremes: a spiritual renewal or as simple as a travel vacation. We looked forward to this extended break to get away from it all and breathe in a sniff of fresh air expelling the old. It is the time of the year when we usually trace back our roots and keep the tradition of pasyon still going in spite of the fast moving borderless world.

As we come back to the real world this week, we brace ourselves for the next cycle of life. Those of us who got the most were likely daring and adventurous. In the case of the two young motorcycle travelers who had limited logistics, they were armed only with restlessness, impassioned spirit and an open route. Big words. But these are not exclusive to the club adventurers, the mountaineers and intrepid travelers. It is in anyone who has a zest for life. So compelling, it is enough to make the common man more alive even if he simply stayed behind in the stillness of the city. What about you? Any interesting story this Holy Week? Happy Easter!

CBR 28March2005

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