Letters to My Son : A Father's Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love

"That is why we need travel. If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days. "- KN

"But travel is not as romantic and exotic as it sounds. The familiar will always call, and your sense of rootlessness will not give you rest. Your emotions will fly crazily in all directions until sometimes you will feel that you have lost your moorings. If you travel alone, the warmth of families and couples will break your heart, and your loneliness will plunge you to depths you did not think possible.

And then, there are greater dangers. You may wake up and discover that you have become a runner who uses travel as an escape from the problems and complications of trying to build something with your life. You may find that you were gone one hour or one day or one month too long, and that you no longer belong anywhere or to anyone. You may find that you have been caught by the lure of the road and that you are a slave to dissatisfaction with any life that forces you to stay in one place.

There things happen. But how much worse is it to be someone whose dreams have been buried beneath the routines of life and who no longer has an interest in looking beyond the horizon?

I believe it is worth taking the risk. How else will you know the feeling of standing on something ancient, or hearing the silent roar of empty spaces? How else will you be able to look into the eyes of a man who has no education, never left his village, and does not speak your language, and know that the two of you have something in common? How else will you know, in your heart, that the whole world is precious and that every person and place has something unique to offer?

And when you have tragedies or great changes in your life, how else will you truly understand that there are a thousand, a million ways to live, and that your life will go on to something new and different and every bit as worthy as the life you are leaving behind?"-KN


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