Traveling in retrospect
I wanted to organize my travels in such a way since Lithuania was my most recent trip. I find that it is better to reflect on this trip since the memory is still relatively recent in my mind. Then I will proceed to talk about my other trips which surprisingly didn’t have as big of an impact as Lithuania did.
It has been a week since I got back to New York after a month-long stay in Lithuania. (Yup, I didn’t even know that country existed until a month ago either) but for those of you who don’t know, Lithuania is a small country in Eastern Europe located snugly between Poland, Russia, Latvia, and Belarus. This trip was the longest that I’ve been away from home and even though I’ve been away for longer while I was dorming, this was away away as in across the entire Atlantic Ocean, 4252 miles away buried and tucked away in bumblefuck Europe. I couldn’t just take an hour and a half train ride home to Brooklyn so the thought of me being packed and shipped almost halfway across the world is simultaneously terrifying yet comforting.
I’ll explain. Feeling terrified is a “normal” feeling to have since I had to learn how to adapt to a completely different environment with a completely different culture and of course, that major language barrier that is limited to only 3 million of their population isn’t easy. (And it’s kind of given that my dad wouldn’t pull a Liam Nelson if something happened). So yes, terrified was the correct? feeling?
Yet all of the things that terrified me comforted me at the same time. Since it is a different environment and it is a different culture which is why it was so intriguing to see the everyday lives of people who frankly, wasn’t hustling and bustling like those in New York City. Those who say that “time is just a man-made concept” wasn’t wrong. I’ve noticed that Lithuanians just weren’t as wrapped up and obsessed with time compared to those in NYC. The days felt longer and the nights were shorter. (the Sun wouldn’t set until 11 pm and it would get right back up at 4 AM which completely threw off my sleeping schedule)
Without the need to chase daylight, I felt that I had so much more time to explore, so many more places to see, so many more types of cuisines to try and so many more people to meet. So in a way, it was comforting for me to know that I have the opportunity to open myself up to all of these things and to know that I was at a place where no one knew anything about me—to merely be a face in the crowd. I’ve had nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. But is this really the time to have a coming-of-age post though? maybe—maybe not. Guess y’all will have to stick around longer to find out.