I was five years old when I first thought of myself as Godzilla. (The next time it happened I was 26 at a bar in Miami...but that's a story for another day*). That first time, I was looking out the window of an airplane at a landscape full of teeny tiny cars, homes and streets. I was too little to understand visual perception (which I'll admit, I still struggle with), but I knew that I was larger than what I was seeing through the window and was 100% convinced I would crush Orlando with my jelly shoes.
It's no surprise that I had this moment of self-awareness mid-air. In my 32 years of life, I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to a bunch of places, and I find that, the farther I go, the better I understand myself. Living in Hong Kong I realized how much I value personal space, and how it's a luxury for so many people. Austria made me aware of JUST HOW LOUD I AM. Also, that I'm not super comfortable with nudity (hello German people at Spanish beaches whoaaa). While walking the Camino de Santiago I realized I was not as agnostic as I thought; that I do and want to believe in God.
I snapped this pic at the Chicago bean a couple of years ago. It's not a particularly awesome one (I look like a weird distorted elf), but I love that it captures the reason for my wanderlust.
Travel allows me to see myself and my life through a different lens and in a different context. I provides me with perspective. Experiencing different cultures, languages and ways of thinking allows me to reflect on my own. I live my life thinking everything is one way, and then I travel somewhere and see hundreds of thousands of people doing the complete opposite. There's no better ground for growth and self reflection. Travel is my favorite kind of mirror.