Travel isn’t about an itinerary or doing super luxurious things. It’s about being immersed in something else. Curating is better than accumulating. Edit out the unnecessary and only take what you really need.
When I think about travel and its impact on my career, I think travel taught me how to observe. My parents would take my brother and I to Egypt frequently. I didn’t know what was going on half the time, but I had to pick up things quickly. I became a pretty good observer at 6 or 7 years old. And that’s a lot of what I do in my films. It’s a humbling position to watch and pick up context, especially when you don’t know a language and have to figure things out as you go. I had to focus on other things. I would focus on social cues, body language and gestures. I think that’s what travel did for me. It opened up my understanding of how people communicate. It was the first time I was put in the observer position because I was no longer the center of attention at such a young age. I had to watch other people.
Go. Get lost and travel by yourself. Get into trouble. Be open to all the opportunities that present themselves. And remember, all the bad stuff that happens on the road will become the best stories.
I played games my whole life. But when I sat down and saw the things that were being written about people who play games, they didn’t feel connected to a world outside of that universe. All art forms talk to each other. For instance, if you’re a painter you’re listening to music. If you’re an architect you’re looking at design or watching TV. But for games, I felt like they were an isolated piece in my existence and weren’t connected to the outside world.