I Love the Whole World by Salma El-Banna

plane flyingI ask you to disconnect from the world for a few seconds, detach yourself from your nationality, your name and age. I ask you to consider yourself a dot. Yes, a dot on a huge pile of dots. Nonsense you say? Well, a lot of our behaviors are nonsense and yet we do not think twice. Trust me on this one.

Every one of us looks forward to see something new, aspire to change, it’s in our blood. You might or might not have realized that every single place you go to changes something in you, even if you stayed there for only a few hours. Symptoms you might have had: Sparkling eyes; racing heart beat; and a will to learn everything about this new culture. Even if it’s not abroad, somewhere not far away from you might have a world’s of difference in terms of social background. In the midst of it all, we’re all the same, faces may change, opinions may vary, and we’re all living for the same things.

There’s something that gets me so excited about traveling more than anything else. It’s the smell of each different country I go to, and by smell I mean the entire mood that it gives you. The whole experience is just so overwhelming. The first day I went to Argentina I had wide eyes of interest, so indulged into the experience that if you’d seen me then you’d think I could gulp up the whole country from my stare. I couldn’t stop talking to people, chatting with the cab driver to almost every person who comes close, throwing my “holas” here and there. As strange as it seemed to me; they were so similar to people back home that I almost felt like I was home so far from home, thousands of kilometers away.

You don’t know the importance and magnificence of TRAVEL except when you do it so NOT tourist-like! For when you are merely a tourist you only see what you are required to see, but not really experience the country. There are millions of tourists, but there are a few people who really know what it is to travel, to experience, to get so away from yourself that ironically that’s exactly when you find yourself. Every place I went to I learnt something entirely different about me. Recently, my trip to Argentina taught me that there really isn’t any time to waste in life. I’d just been a beginner with my Spanish, but I pushed myself to be involved and speak to people, sometimes I felt so excluded from some conversations and made me realize how blessed humans are to have the skill to communicate. I realized the importance of communication like no other time. Why do we sometimes shy away from conversations? Why do we exclude ourselves from communication sometimes? That’s such a simple lesson, but it gives you this strange confidence in yourself later on, trust yourself, Feel free to communicate, be there, and prove your existence.

I honestly believe that one of the important lessons I’ve learnt from traveling is that in the end, we’re all on our own in this amazing quest, strangers we might be, but it’s much more of a fulfilling quest when we communicate and become one, realize that the differences that make our DNA individuals that we are, yet indulge in other’s cultures and backgrounds. Live out the experience to its core.

By now I can hear that song “Boom de Yada” ringing in my ears
I love the mountains,
I love the clear blue skies,
I love big bridges,
I love when great whites fly,
I love the WHOLE WORLD,
And all its sights and sounds…


Salma, whose name in Arabic means “peaceful,” is an Ambassador for the Universal Flag Peace Movement. You can learn more about her here.

Return to Community Blog Home

This entry was posted in Spirituality, Women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *