Prepare yourself for the repetitious citing of quotes- I can spend hours going down the rabbit hole of quote research, planning new quote-inspired tattoos, sharing wisdom nuggets and treasures I discover with friends, Facebook, and Twitter…. eventually, I return to the true intention of these words of advice- that is, to inspire me to actually do, act on, and live the inspirational words being written and spoken. The quotes and songs I reference are pieces of hope, vision, insight, and encouragement I lean on to remember why I am living 6,634 miles from family, friends, familiarity, and authentic Mexican food.
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” –Clifton Fadiman
Upon hearing stories of friends, friends of friends, and people with fame and fortune traveling and living abroad I would feel pure envy- “Ugh, I want to be doing that. How can they afford to do that? Give me that umbrella drink, in a hammock, on a beach in Thailand, please.” Great minds from Rumi (“Travel brings power and love back into your life”) to Hans Christian Anderson (“To travel is to live”) to Kurt Vonnegut (“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God”) to the Dalai Lama (“Once a year go somewhere you have never been before”) emphasize the necessity, profundity, growth, and power of transformation in travel.
However, the paradox of traveling and living abroad is that it shocks you with cultural differences and comforts you with humanity. As I meet people from the U.S. and other countries, the saying that “to travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” (Aldous Huxley) reigns true. In Mark Twain’s words, I value travel for challenging my assumptions, expanding my perspective, and being “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Maya Angelou hopefully asserts that “perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
Living abroad has lay bare my relative insignificance in the world, unavoidable influence on the world, and deep-seated interconnectedness with the world. I have felt both crippling powerlessness and insatiable motivation to continue to see how other people live the reality we all currently occupy, but view and experience from radically different lenses.
“The world is a book and he who doesn’t travel only reads one page.” –St. Augustine
This intense curiosity, significant cultural incompetence, and lack of belonging were not publicized as sentiments I would experience living abroad- however, it may have been my ignorant and glamorized notion of traveling and living abroad that blinded me. I have had to confront and accept my own human vulnerabilities and imperfections, relative discomfort and at times, shameful disgust and create my own sanctuaries of comfort and beauty in music, dance, food, laughs, and relationship.
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins
As someone whose goal in life is to be fearless- to embrace risk and the unknown, to feel liberated from worry and anxiety, to unapologetically be bold and daring… travel and living outside my cushiony comfort zone are bringing me closer to embodying that objective.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” –Helen Keller
This adventure leaves me “torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange” (Carson McCullers). This playlist is dedicated to the power of music to make me feel at home, no matter where I am in the world. These are tracks I listened to countless times on single-song repeat in America- each lyric and note strikes a chord, transporting me back in time, place, and feeling to the sunshine of California, plains of Indiana, and treetops of Oregon.
- The First Single -The Format
- Plastic Slides -Winter Gloves
- Good As New -Vacationer
- And the Living is Easy -Guts
- California Sunrise -Dirty Gold
- Ill Fit -Wave Machine
- Retrograde -James Blake
- Skinny Love -Bon Iver
- Lucky One -Pure Bathing Culture
- Knocked Up -Lykke Li, Kings of Leon
- Title & Registration -Deathcab for Cutie
- Ramona -Guster
- Dance Yourself Clean -LCD Soundsystem
- Third Planet -Modest Mouse
- If You Leave -Nada Surf
- Trouble Sleeping -The Perishers
- Worn Me Down -Rachel Yamagata
- California -Rufus Wainwright
- The District Sleeps Alone Tonight -Postal Service
- Very Loud -Shout Out Louds
- One More Night -Stars
- That Year -Brandi Carlile
- Hello Sunshine -Super Furry Animals
- Big Sur -The Thrills
- Forever Young -Youth Group
- My Girls -Animal Collective
- Home -Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Copyright © 2015 Mariana Prutton. All rights reserved.