“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both”
…so starts one of my beloved poems, The Road Not Taken
-by Robert Frost
I thought I had a good understanding of the poem until I woke up one morning in Vienna, Austria and found that the fading leaves awaiting winter by the boulevard had all turned yellow. That was when it occurred to me that the poet must have written the poem in autumn or referenced the yellow wood at autumn.
Travelling brings you an experience that you cannot find in books or your imaginations. It just takes you right there into the experience. It helps you checkmate stereotypical ideas you might have about people, places, cultures, and of course, food. Some things don’t taste half as bad or half as good as they look.
Experiencing new places teaches you whole new levels to diversity. It shows you that truly we are not the same, we are all different. And talking about that difference is more unifying than deluding in the illusion that we are all the same.
Start where you can because it’s a slow habit to build. But a rewarding one nonetheless. Your first trip must not be out of your country.
I wrote this article while on an interstate journey to Lagos so it may be edgy but let me recount something I told my brother the last time we met. It was an easy talk you don’t want the details, “don’t complain about nothing, not even of a country, don’t make an excuse with anything because we have airplanes now”. You can be anywhere you want to be. Either through the sky, the roads or the sea. You run, swim or fly, but know you can move.
Travelling enriches your experience. Move. Explore.
Chibuike Uzoma is a multidisciplinary artist who works with painting, photography, drawing, and text. He graduated from the University of Benin (2013) with a major in visual art (painting) and since then he has been practicing as a full-time studio artist, with projects, exhibitions and artist residencies in Africa, Europe, Asia as well as the United States. Uzoma’s art projects are generally inspired by the fabric of everyday life and the relationship between humans and their immediate environment. He creates visual languages to portray narratives that modify common understandings of places and people. Usually taking reference from Nigeria, the African Diaspora, and the Global South, his artworks engage issues of contemporary politics, post-colonialism, migration, popular culture and themes related to religious and ethnic conflicts. His art process is organic, spontaneous, and conceptually-driven in which the paintings, drawings, and photographic performances develop in conversation with ideas and analysis.