Old Themes, New Loves

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My name is Sophia Trozzo, and I am the creator of the openendedanswers.com, a website devoted to a study of travel in relation to questions of selfhood and existence. My writings are drawn from and limited by my personal experiences (predominantly set against a European background), but I’m choosing to share them in the hope that they will resonate with many others, and heighten their love for their own journeys in various parts of the world.

First year of journalism school I studied the art of the interview. Lesson one: always ask open-ended questions. What does that mean? Simply put, it means pose a question in such a way so as to make it impossible for the subject to respond with solely a yes or a no.

A journalist spends their entire career trying to figure out how to ask the best questions, but a human being spends their entire life attempting to make peace with the ambiguity in the answers. Answers are largely perceived as deliverers of the definitive, the endpoint of the journey, but I’ve learned that they can be as open-ended as the best questions.

It was through travel that I made this discovery. Travel has been, and continues to be, the most fruitful aspect and tool of my education. It has taught me that existential meaning can thrive without certainty and is not threatened by possible change. It has shown me the unique freedom that exists in unapologetically changing one’s mind. It has taught me that personal growth comes from seeking to understand rather than to find “answers”. For years I had believed all of this in theory, but traveling revealed the truth of it to me in a concrete way, by taking me out of my head and into the world.

What I am most interested in is what travel teaches us about ourselves and our relationships with others. How does it shape our understanding of our own existence? How does it help us care for our souls? How does it expand our sense of community? How does it change our perception of space and our own bodies? How does it challenge our definition of freedom? These are the questions that have obsessed me since I began my travels and inspired so much of my writing. They are the questions that form the bedrock of this website. Most importantly, though, they are the reason why I continue to travel.

There is one fundamental thing that all of these questions have in common- they have no definitive answers. I pursue them regardless, because it is the process of self-discovery that fascinates me, and I celebrate its open-ended nature.

Here you will find pieces of my observations and reflections on my encounters, sometimes fragmented, but always honest. I hope you will join the discussion, read and comment on anything that interests you, and help me create a dialogue out of this project.

I imagined this site for a long time. Finally, in the summer of 2014, I created it. First and foremost, this project was born out of my love for Europe, for the part of the world that first connected me- mind, body and soul- to the joy and reward of traveling, and that has kept me returning to it ever since.

To anyone and everyone who has discovered and pursued the beauty of building a life in more than one place- this is dedicated to you.