“Letter to my 20 year old self”

Recently I have stumped upon a wonderful “Letter to me 20 year old self” by Cristian Cambronero. The original is in Spanish available here: https://www.nacion.com/revista-dominical/tinta-fresca-carta-a-mi-mismo-cuando-tenia-20-anos/4H7AHIUHRJGAFPAG4L423TMCKU/story/

This is the translated English version:

Yo. I’m not gonna ask how you doing, cause I remember. You’re good, and you’ll be good in the years ahead. I don’t have a lot of time (well, you won’t have much time) nor a lot of space but just 2,500 characters to tell you something important from the future. So I choose to say this: travel more, you fool!

If you’re gonna aim for something, aim for taking off whenever possible and each time for longer. Follow the same dreams, make the same plans, start the same projects, and repeat the same mistakes if you want… but travel more.

In the years ahead, you’ll be distracted by ideas, thoughts, and people. Stick to the plan, I know what I’m telling you. Invest in traveling, which is investing in living. Use what you earn to get away every once in a while, because you can’t have any perspective without distance. Go, and come back… and go again. Believe me, nothing will bring you greater moments of joy.

Travel when you’re young because circumstances will not become less complicated. Travel far and travel close by. Travel with those you love the most, travel alone; travel when you’re single.

Only later travel as a couple. Nothing tests love like traveling together, said Mark Twain, a wise and tireless traveler who found love while traveling.

Walk, walk, walk… wear out your shoes while strolling through new roads. Get lost without fear. Talk to strangers, listen to all their stories, ask all sorts of questions. Eat by yourself, eat with a group, eat without hurry, eat on the go. Eat there what you’ll never eat here- the expensive and the cheap, the green and the red, the hard and the thick.

Make the most of each day and night. Get drunk at least once in every city. Try everything that won’t kill you. Make a fool of yourself. Fall in love for a few days. Love in another language. Speak in tongues. Get a taste of heaven.

Travel with humility for it guarantees the sense of wonder. Be in awe of the epic and the simple, the extraordinary and the mundane. Amaze yourself in the smells, the colors, nature, and the things people do with nature. Marvel at art, chaos, the future and the past, the exquisite and the repugnant. Learn without pride and let yourself be carried away by surprise, which nurtures the soul and the mind. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” Twain wrote in his chronicles. “No one develops a broad, wholesome, charitable attitude by remaining in one little corner of the Earth their whole life.”

You’ll notice that the world will become smaller. The obstacle, then, will be your will or the lack thereof. I wished I had realized that much earlier. Don’t let it happen to you.

By the way… at the beginning, I say “letter,” just to give it a title… In the future though, nobody writes letters anymore… Not even when they travel.

Truly inspiring!

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Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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