Image (c) Ideas With Ink
Once there was a boy, who dreamed of traveling the world, seeing landmarks and landscapes. On the drive to school, he always annoyed his parents with never-ending stories about faraway seas and lands filled with sailors and camels. At the dinner table, he read passages from the World Heritage Website; he even made his own list with the things that he wanted to see, so he could check it off when he visited them. He searched for flight tickets and planned detailed itineraries. Soon enough just around his thirteenth birthday, his dream came true and the plane whisked his dad and him to Europe.
On his journey through Spain, Portugal, and Morocco the boy discovered three cities: Barcelona, the playground of architects; Porto, which was filled with dynamic urban colors, and lastly – Fes, where birth, life, and death in the form of three mountains danced in circles, holding hands. The four elements made the landscape: the air was scented with jasmine and cedar; the earth felt grainy and Mars-like; fires flickered on dark nights and treasured water sang in fountains.
It is here, on this forum of summer, learning from the works of Gaudi and Picasso the boy found himself lost in the architectural mazes, not facts, – beauty was seen in a bailaora’s flamenco dance, the wind of adventure caressed his face and the voices of medieval battles filled his ears. In the Sagrada Familia, the boy felt overwhelmed with the heaven-high rooms and a dozen turrets, which rose into the sky like the tower of Babel and Casa Battlo shone like a glorious beach with it azure colors and shell-like fixtures.
The boy and his dad traveled through the heart of the subcontinent, where Don Quixote had fought his battles, through the towns of Andalusia, past abandoned castles, green meadows with cows grazing. And it is in Porto, the city of dreams which were born from the union of sky and earth, the boy’s geographical mind and traveling soul connected giving him a new take on his dream of traveling.
For the first time the teen did not talk about facts but imagined cavaliers racing through the plains, and pilgrims walking through forests. The father, who drove, had his eyes on the endless road and the son, the careless passenger, stared at the open plain. The scenery was meditative and the conversation was winding on different topics as the road itself. They both enjoyed traveling through the countryside, but moreover the journey through their thoughts and memories of the past and hopes for the future.
Now the teen was not just an observer, but the mountain climber, who was reaching for the zenith, training as an astronaut to sail through the Milky Way and claim stars. Finally, he understood, that the destination does not give a meaning to the journey, but rather the journey gives purpose to the destination.
And so, moved by his experiences, he was sending goodbyes to childhood and opening a fresh chapter. The beauty in the world was appearing in front of him and connecting architecture, history, emotions and nature in one big story: the story of his emerging teenage life.