Melissa came back, after traveling northern Argentina and Bolivia. She came back from nature to human habitat, from non-toxic environment to toxic, from innocent relation to utilitarian. What a big city can do for a person is just undescribable. Humans, as an urban creature, eventually are coming back to urban areas, and so did Melissa. I welcomed her with a big hug, and prepared her staying in Buenos Aires for a week or so. Then she goes back to nature; northern Chile, Peru and Ecuador, or maybe to further north (*I describe North and South, using a hegemonic geographical concept of this era which is definitely inapt).
Her journey hasn’t ended yet, so I cannot conclude what she has learnt during her journey yet. But I have observed her behaviours so far that seem unleashing her old behaviours to the extreme, for she hadn’t exercised them during the last two months of traveling. This brought me a bit of curiosity to question if a traveling can promote a life long change of living behaviour or just can provide momentary adventure of people who desire to escape from burdened reality? How has it been for me so far, and how has it been seen from other people who travel so many years? (*Also, I differentiate traveling from sightseeing. Approximate definitions for both would be that one is for zoning-in and the other for zoning-out.)
Actually this debate was already once made when I was traveling to Uruguay last year. At Carmelo we were making a fire on the beach shore, singing and meditating. Uriel asked if a hippie life style is a temporary adventure for us or a life style. It is true that to many people ask hippies what they are going to do in the future assuming that eventually they will go back to urban environment adapting the social norms. If one assumes that a life style is unitary and any other possibilities are only for temporary adventure, it would be like working in the office building dreaming one week of vacation every year. But should all live this way? Or they would be someone living and working outside of office, away from this common labour concept?
Maybe vegetarianism and veganism can be understood with the same approach. For some people it would be a life style to perform. Otherwise, for some people it would be a weekend experience. Loving affair also is an adventure, whether for partnered one or not, and return for them also might imply that their affair isn’t fully satisfactory but a momentary escape for present boredom. Traveling experience also can be a life style just as Uriel told me, living day by day, actually floating on how life carries one away. So I reached to a conclusion; return means unsatisfactory certainty of momentary adventure, and when it is remained uncertain, adventure just would be remembered as a nostalgic glory of the past only. Then you go saying, ‘when I was in Paris… when I was traveling to Bolivia…’, rather than showing how the experience of having travel to Paris or to Bolivia has formed you how you are now. You became more a generaliser, saying ‘the people of Paris are like… the people of Bolivia are like…’, rather than admitting that no generalisation would stand on still and no unitary character could be made.
But then, would a return really be just a nostalgic stepping back to the past? Would it be just a detention of personal evolvement for the fear of futuristic change? Considering that a development is no more linear but multidirectional expansion, every adventure is worth on somewhat reason. Perhaps an adventure is worth for thesis-antithesis-synthesis. The former life style being a thesis, and having an adventure as an antithesis makes new life style fragment on current being. It still is a change, but not the extreme change one ever expects. Or, maybe this change belongs to others surrounding the one who adventured, rather than to be belonged to the one actually adventured, just as a message carrier.
We went to an organic market in San Telmo, for she wanted to show us the magic place she used to go when she was here before. I bought some good handmade breads there, planning to do a vegan burger sometime on weekend. I knew that it was an adventure inside another adventure for her to show her favourite place to us, and sometimes one’s return has an unexplainable take-away, as she proved at the organic market.
After Uruguay, I also admitted that the life style I adventured there was temporary, for that I haven’t lived up that standard so far in Buenos Aires. I returned. I returned to normality and unitarity. But still I’m putting efforts to make some changes to have a prolonged life style.
I’ve walked so far, only to realise that I cannot go back no more.