Exulansis (noun) The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because others are unable to relate to it.
This is true of almost every place you will ever go. You cannot put into words the experience you had in a different country. You cannot find the right words to explain the sounds, smells, tastes, the beauty, the sorrow, or the joy of a place because there were just too many ideas from each portion of your time there. The chaos, the silence, the life of the people who live there. So much like every other place and yet so different from every other place. Specifically so different from my own experiences growing up in the U.S. and yet still sort of exactly like every experience I have ever had growing up in the U.S.
I have taken some amazing photos of many different places in the world. My friends and family love looking at them, but often cannot even imagine what it was actually like. I’m always a little surprised because when I live in or visit a different country, I see what I know. I see families eking out a life and a living. I see the rich and the poor, the politics, and the criminals. I also sometimes cannot imagine me being in some of the places I have been. Even when I am actually there. It will sometimes cross my mind how strange it is that I am just walking down a street in Lagos, or Kathmandu, or Caracas, or.. or .. or. It’s sort of like an out of body experience at times. If I feel that way, how can others even relate to the experience?
If an average day in a foreign country experience is difficult to explain, imagine how much more difficult it would be to try and explain going through a not average day in a foreign country. People wandering aimlessly through the streets. The heartbreak and the true chaos. The confusion and the trying to find assistance for the injured. It’s something that even now I struggle to put into words. It’s surreal. The pictures can show an aspect of the experience but not the recurring tremors. The “lost”ness that so many felt and very possibly still feel today after so many years. Even more important was discovering the immense strength of a nation’s people. I will never be able to fully explain it and I will never be able to ever forget it.