One year, two weeks and one day. Part of me says nothing has changed while another says everything has. We have travelled over 20,000 miles by car from San Francisco all the way to Ushuaia, the end of the world. Now we are back, and by a strange quirk of fate we are staying in the same rental apartment as we did before embarking on this journey. The feeling of ‘déjà vu’ is overwhelming.
“In another three days’ time,” writes Paolo Coelho, “once we’re back in our daily routine, it will feel as if we had never left and never made that long journey. We have the photos, the tickets, the souvenirs, but time – the only absolute, eternal master of our lives – will be telling us: You never left this house, this room, this computer.” The streets of San Francisco are filled with the same positive energy. Tourists are eating Italian food and enjoying the sun in North Beach. Locals are complaining about expensive rents. People ride the bus and the metro while checking Facebook on their smart phones. The blogosphere speculates about the next version of iPhone. “No, nothing has changed”, continues Coelho, “but we – who went off in search of our kingdom and discovered lands we had never seen before – know we are different. However, the more we try to explain, the more we will persuade ourselves that this journey, like all the others, exists only in our memory. Perhaps we will tell our grandchildren about it or even write a book on the subject, but what exactly will we say? Nothing, or perhaps only what happened outside, not what changed inside.”
The world around me may look the same, the people around me may act the same, but everything is different – because I am different. The world only exists through my eyes, through my consciousness. So the deep changes that occurred inside me during the course of this journey are creating a new world.
As a journey ends, beyond the illusion of sameness, a new life begins today.
This post is also available in: French