The 1 Place We Can All Travel

Akshay Ramanathan
3 min readApr 9, 2020

“Can you tell me about yourself?”

This shouldn’t be a hard question, and yet when someone asked me recently, I found it surprisingly difficult to answer. So I asked myself why that might be.

In a time where who we are is regularly summed up by a job title, company name, or field of study, it should come as no surprise that our identities and sense of self have been truncated to fit a two dimensional text box. What we are “about”, now has a character limit, so it can be quickly seen or swiped away. And an articulation of our experiences and aspirations now in conflict with an ever shortening attention span.

The consequence of reducing ourselves to something easily digestible by machines and the masses, is our inability to truly connect with one another and more importantly ourselves. This leaves many, whose lives are “full,” with a feeling of emptiness. Because we are not our job titles, company names, degrees pursued or universities attended. Those are hyper limited ways of realizing our identities.

Rather I believe who we are is best expressed by what we value, the people we surround ourselves with, and the experiences that evolve us. Who we are can be seen in the ideas we find thought provoking and heard in the meaningful conversations we have with others.

The negativity media promotes and the distressing messages we are inundated by are accelerating our rate of decay. Current circumstances have given me so much to think about and is forcing a serious reevaluation of what is important and about the kind of life I want to live. Overcoming cynicism, fighting for the ideal, and spreading love and compassion, are among those important things and that especially in an age overwhelmingly focused technological invention, are critical to helping us be more human and accepting of our vulnerability and fallibility.

This is a forum for me to express gratitude and to espouse positive energy in a period where we as a people need it most. I hope my media offers some insight into who I am, however more important I hope it prompts you to pause and look inward. Reevaluate your answer to that prompt, as well as your relationship to other things and people in life. What are you? Who are you?

Through committed introspection you may come up with a different answer than the one you’ve been dishing out, simply to appease the palate of someone else. Maybe, you’ll connect with a part of yourself that provides you the sense of fulfillment you’ve been seeking. And by connecting with ourselves, exercising compassion towards one another we can talk to each other about ourselves, in a manner that is unrestricted, free of judgement, and devoid of discrimination.

While travel is extremely limited, this is the very opportunity to seize, and to go to the most important place in the world, inward.