johanna: notes on the traveller’s experience

original art work by johanna

notes on the traveller’s experience:

you buy your 50 litre backpack on sale at the local outdoor store, you wonder how many litres constitute an outfit. you want to have a cool travel hat like chic travellers in movies have, you get a good pair of hiking boots instead. you might have made the right choice.

you arrive after dark in a foreign country. you don’t even speak spanish, what the fuck are you doing? the cab driver from the airport rips you off and you cry in your 6 bed dorm room. you wander out and see something you’ve never seen before and suddenly there is magic. 

you think about starting a travel blog. you see your competition, bikini clad in santorini. you examine the hole in your basin-washed sock, and remember that your underwear is being worn inside out for the illusion of sanitation. you concede to sending your photos directly to only your mother. 

you are bone wearily exhausted, you want to stay in your top bunk and watch cat videos. the other travellers in your dorm room side eye you with disappointment. you are wasting your travel experience. you are lazy scum. you bow to the pressure and arise. you buy vegetables to make dinner at the hostel. you are smart and frugal. you are smug. there are no spices in the cupboard. you bustle around 5 other travellers trying to boil water for pasta. it takes you two hours. it is bland. it saved you four dollars.

‘let’s keep in touch’ your bunk-mate says. you exchange instagram handles. you forget their name two days later, never to be spoken to again. then you recognise a familiar face, a best friend is made.

you’ve been in a country long enough that youtube is showing you ads in the local language. google results have to be translated back to english. you understand nothing, but the internet knows you belong now.

you have been travelling for a long time now. you are basically a veteran. the new ones clamber to hear your sage advice. you impart wisdom, directing them to a hostel with sockets next to each bed and ‘social vibes’.

the tread on your shoes wears down with every country. your heart expands with every experience. the more you see of the world, the more the world unveils its possibilities to you. it’s worth it. go find it.


september 2019

. . .

johanna, 24 is an australian born artist, currently living out of a backpack having been travelling for several years now. @theartyjo