I love this.
I love this poem because the narrator, who seems to be traveling solo, offers one insight into the “why” of travel that is rarely explored. It is shared in this line…
It is on the road that I am a poet, an ambassador, a dancer, medicine woman, an angel and even a genius
At home you may be a plumber, a lawyer, a father or mother, a student or any other label that comes from your day to day activities. But, on the road, you can highlight that in yourself which you like most and live it fully. You can live it in your time alone and in your time with new acquaintances.
Do you occasionally write a bit of poetry? As you travel, call yourself a poet and work on the creation of one great poem. Are you concerned about politics and international relations? Go out of your way and perform ambassadorial acts in your travels. Did your study of dance fall short of a career? Claim the title and live the role on dance floors around the world.
Traveling solo is an opportunity to explore that aspect of your life which may be overshadowed by responsibilities and the expectations of others. It is an opportunity to live as a poet, an ambassador, a dancer or whatever role you would, in a perfect world, take on. In doing so you will be that much closer to a well-earned label of genius.
And now, our poem which, according to some sources, is actually an excerpt from a poem written by NYC sculptor, Sana Musama. But I’m not sure that’s correct as I can’t find this person online. The only New York sculptor I can find with a name close is Sana Musasama but there is no reference to her writing poetry. Regardless, it’s beautiful and significant. If anyone finds more details on the poet I would appreciate receiving them so that I can properly acknowledge her.
And NOW, the poem…
Why do I travel?
It is on the road that my inner voice speaks the loudest and my heart beats the strongest.
It is on the road that I take extra pride in my wooly hair, full features and lineage.
It is on the road that I develop extra senses and the hairs on my arms stand up and say “Sana, don’t go there”, and I listen.
It’s when I safety pin my money to my underclothes and count it a million times before I go to sleep,
It is on the road that I am a poet, an ambassador, a dancer, medicine woman, an angel and even a genius.
It’s on the road that I am fearless and unstoppable and if necessary ball up my fist and fight back.
It is on the road that I talk to my deceased parents and they speak back
It’s on the road that I reprimand myself, and set new goals, refuel, stop and begin again.
It is on the road that I experience what freedom truly is.
It is my travel that has transformed me making me a citizen of the world. When my humanness, compassion and affection are raised to a new level and I share unconditionally.
When I travel I arrive empty and leave full.