Travel can be a vacation or a way to escape, it can be a landmark for change or it can be way to feel alive and free. For some it's temporary for others its a lifestyle. Some travel for pleasure, others for work and unfortunately for many, travel is the only way to stay alive. A beacon of hope for a safer, happier life. I am thankful everyday that I can travel for pleasure and explore the privileged philosophical questions about life and its meaning.
I was happy with my life in Chicago. Great friends, good income, cozy apartment. I had built many special relationships and was afraid to leave all of it behind. But what I was more afraid of was not leaving. My dreams of the sea had seeded at such an early age that now its branches were pushing against my ribcage, screaming for sunlight.
There is quite a large bandwagon for nomads and adventure-seekers these days. And I jumped on as soon as I could. Although you could say we're following a similar trend, there is quite a large world out there, which means we'll need a lot of different wagons. We all share a strong lust for exploration... but so do most people. Probably just in ways we don't notice. You don't need to move half way across the world and jump off cliffs to be an explorer. Our innate curiosity can manifest itself in research at work, in raising a family, or even in trying new cuisine. We are all adventurers in our own way.
But I do believe that our youthful wonder is being smothered by routine and complacency. We used to be curious about life around us. It's so easy to say I don't have time. I don't have the money. It's easy to stay on the tracks from 9-5. And it's easy to lose track of the past five years because we're always busy. We trade our days for things. And then we buy things we don't need, so we need to trade more days for more things. I get it, escaping from such a lifestyle is like trying to exit a 5 lane highway in LA at rush hour. Impossible.
But if not now, then when? The sense that time speeds up as we get older seems to be a running joke, but I don't think it's funny at all. In fact, it scares the hell out of me. I dreamt about moving near the ocean when I was 18, yet somehow I was 25, standing in an apron and red lipstick smiling at another businessman who was unhappy with his steak. Don't get me wrong, everyone's gotta do the dirty work at some point in their life. And that job actually allowed me to save enough to travel. But I knew it was time. It was time to grab hold of my life and trust in curiosity.
"You might spend your whole life following your curiosity and have absolutely nothing to show for it at the end - except one thing. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed your entire existence in devotion to the noble human virtue of inquisitiveness." - Elizabeth Gilbert
I'm not telling everyone to quit their jobs and move to Morocco, but I am trying to get one point across. There is all the time in the world if you want it bad enough. And there is always a way to find money if you're willing to earn it. If you have found true happiness in your 9-5 and security of the future, than I am really really happy for you. But if you feel hopeless in your purpose, if you feel that routine is slowly washing away the colors of your personality, please don't give up. Though the path is less secure, there is a different way of letting your light shine. Travel will tumble you around over and over, but every time you stand up you'll be stronger and wiser. Travel will give you a powerful sense of freedom and a humbling sense of truth. But most importantly, travel reignites your wonder. The youthful curiosity that gives us inspiration, hope and creativity. The eagerness to learn and teach and love. And when you push away all the clutter that's in your mind and heart you'll find it exists in all of us, even if it's just an ember. For deep down our souls desire only one thing: wonder. (Gilbert, 250)
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash