Do you ever get the urge to just pack up and leave? To escape to a far away destination and start afresh? It can definitely be tempting to dream of exotic places and imagine what your life there would be like. But ask yourself this, are you doing it for your love of travel or simply because of a yearning to get away? In other words, are you travelling or are you running away?
We’ve all read the bumper stickers: “travelling is the best form of education” “the road to travelling is the road to self-discovery”. We’ve all seen the movies that convince us that if we travel far enough we might just find inner peace, self-affirmation, and our soulmate in the process (looking at you Eat, Pray, Love). Do not get me wrong, my intention is not to undermine the value of travelling (nor the awesomely empowering movie that is Eat, Pray, Love). I do believe that travelling is educative, rejuvenating, and everything else it is cut out to be. But, it ultimately comes down to this: travelling is a way of enriching your life, not rebuilding.
Next time you get that yearning to travel ask yourself what it is you are really looking for. A break from your routine? A break from the monotony of everyday life? If you have built a life that makes you feel the need to escape every now and then, then one week abroad won’t help. Rather it will, but it is not a long-term solution. Take a look around you. Why have you let yourself fall into a routine that does not spiritually and mentally fulfill you? Why have you allowed monotony to take over? What about your passion? Where did you leave that? Chances are it’s in a half-forgotten part of yourself, rather than in some unknown destination across the world. All you need to do is look for it.
And once you find it: travel, travel, travel. Because the great thing about passion is that you can carry it anywhere. Next time you travel, you won’t be looking for an escape. You will be looking to learn, to enrich, to grow. That way when you return back home, you won’t feel sad that it is over, because it’s not. Life goes on, wherever you are, you just need to get on board. So in the words of Kerouac “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry”. Just remember to live before you travel. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck travelling, but getting nowhere.