I’ve been thinking a lot about friends recently.
About who they are and how we became friends and why we stay friends.
So I knew, when asked, that that I had to attend my friends wedding in Bangalore, India.
The expense didn’t matter.
The 33 hour plane ride with a layover in Kuwait didn’t matter.
The additional week away from home and the office in the middle of weeks of business travel didn’t matter.
What mattered was being there.
It’s been 10 years since I was last in India, and it feels both like everything and nothing has changed.
But I’ve changed.
Amongst friends, its easy to make more friends.
And I did.
Travel can force you to to engage with another culture, it can shake your world view, and can give you reverse culture shock when you look at the way you’ve always done things with new eyes.
Constant travel can wear you down, distance you from your own experiences, cause you to form an immunity to the monotony of the world.
Travel is both an act of pilgrimage and an act of conquest. You spread your ideas and catch others in the same act, like the early merchants carrying silks and the plague to Europe.
I traveled to India for a friend, and left with more than I came.
I traveled in peace and pilgrimage and left with hard fought plunder.
There can be no other way.
— Jason in Jakarta