If somebody asked you the difference between travel and trip, would you say there is one? It’s that same contrast between traveler and tourist, exploration and vacation, experience and tour, journey and holiday. Maybe they’re all one and the same. It could be wishful thinking on my part to believe they’re any different. Just because I try to peak behind the veil and sometimes get a glance at something unusual along the way doesn’t mean I’m any different than a frozen margarita-sipping tourist with a straw hat sunbathing by the pool.
I traveled today in my own city. After promising my dear friend C. for a few years now that I’ll visit her at the hospital where she works, I made my way through the biting-cold sunny New York Sunday toward Beth Israel Medical on the east side of Manhattan. Up to pediatrics and, there, in this white quiet world, my friend is introducing me to babies, wide-eyed teenagers with not enough light in their eyes, her colleagues from around the world… It wasn’t the intensive care unit but I felt a lot of care up there. Care for the other who stands immediately in front of you, be it a five-week-old baby or a grey-haired pharmacist. I felt care for what is in our power to change – a way of smiling, interacting and being together that crosses all boundaries and remains purely human. As I was leaving, the chilly wind zipping through my bones, I realized that the trip I took today, this two-hour insight into another world, meant more than crossing three continents to some sight of natural wonder.