Have you ever wondered what the world would be like outside of your own lens? How a colour could present itself to you, without knowing it the way that you do?
I see purple. Do you see blue? I ask only because I have no way of truly knowing what it is you see in the photo above. I cannot claim to have a better knowledge of what string of light your eye is perceiving in comparison to mine. I can assume. I can deduce from objective tests and ironic double-blind conditions. But what I cannot do is tell you what you see.
Much like the way we see the world, there is always a lens that occupies the space between the self and the world. A medium that both guides and determines our attributions and perspectives on what is happening around us. Whether it be our biological senses, or a theory about a topic, there is a lens. This is not to say that we are perpetually stuck behind these shamans of knowledge. Actually, humanity has demonstrated time and time again that this is not the case. We are the creatures that dare to ask why. We peak beyond the lens and gradually find the better questions. Now, why am I talking about lenses and ways of knowing? This is where travelling comes in!
The more we interact with the world, the more refined our lens becomes while dancing further into time. This lens is not immune to change, unless we choose to make it so. It can be static and stubborn, or fluid and lucid. It can change with intention, or perhaps as a function of experience. Regardless, the lens we take on the world and the behaviours and thoughts that are produced by it can make an impact not only on your future experiences, but also on the experiences of others. When we visit new places and inhabit new spaces, we bring an inclination of where we have been with us. We transfer a new lens into that space and through our behaviours and thoughts, spread that lens unto others.
Now, some may be more forceful and assert their lens as true and “right”. Others may take a more modest approach and accept the new lens they are encountering in these spaces and value them equally. I feel like travelling has the latter effect; where one is exposed to a new way of seeing the world and has the opportunity to sift through its characteristics and reflect on its applicability to one’s own worldview. Travelling to me is the hand of the artists; the guiding force that disrupts the expected and prompts you to follow its gaze. It uproots your understanding of what is, and plants you one step to the side. In this new found position an artist can use their preferred language to present you with a choice. Either attempt to place your own lens unto their work, or dare to find a new perspective, a new lens that may just give you a slightly new outlook on the world. Much like travelling, this experience can teach you something new. Whether it be about a new place, culture, person, or even yourself, the guiding hand will only steer you towards a nirvana marked by discovery and freedom.