Travelling: How to Know You Should Go

Travelling: How to Know You Should Go

Sometimes travel doesn’t feel like a choice. For some, the urge to explore the world and break away from the banality of daily life in exchange for adventure is so intense that travel becomes almost inevitable. It is in such cases that you know you should go travelling.

Not everyone is satisfied following the typical route through life: from school to college, to university, to job, to family and so on. Moving through life with itchy feet and a disdain for the mundane, it can seem that life is missing something- as if it’s lacking some vital ingredient.

There’s a horrible ordinariness to it all, to which we’ve managed to grow accustomed. This formulaic pathway that society has adopted over time acts like a funnel: pushing, guiding and goading us all in the same particular direction with little room for manoeuvre (read about my thoughts on life and time here).

It's easy to be lulled into a state of inertia where life moves forwards on autopilot and our dreams become sidelined.

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Choose not to fight against the current and we risk waking up one day with our best years behind us, staring at ourselves in the mirror, looking around in confusion, wondering how we got here and what the hell happened. The thought terrifies me!

Where travel conjures up ideas of adventure, exploration, vibrancy and intensity- qualities that seem like really living, it becomes an understandably appealing, tantalising plug for any perceived gap in our lives.

I can think of no better way to really experience life!

For some, travel is the only way to experience it. There’s a truly addictive quality to travelling that renders it a compulsion from the word go. Everyone’s heard of the ‘travel bug’ and I believe in it wholeheartedly.

However, I also wonder if there’s an equivalent for someone yet to experience it though- a form of ‘pre-travel bug’ that leaves its victim yearning for exotic experiences in faraway lands. When I was younger I was drawn to the notion of travel before I fully understood what that meant. You can read about why I first went travelling here.

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These days, it seems that travel is on most people’s to-do list. Perhaps, in an age (in privileged Western countries) where life expectancy and retirement age are only going up, the thought of being stuck in a dead end job forevermore becomes increasingly unpalatable.

More and more people are breaking the norm: stepping out into the world in favour of something greater than the forced early starts, the morning coffee and commute, the lectures, the meetings and office computers. We’re replacing the constant work-life imbalance with personal autonomy; swapping the 9 to 5 grind with world travel.

The thought and act of travelling are powerful antidotes to concern over an unlived life.  

Humans are meaning seeking beings that struggle without a sense of purpose and we all have our outlet- our ‘raison d’etre’: that thing, or those things, that provide the meaning for which we strive.

For some this might mean going to the gym, playing for a sports team, eating healthily; reading novels, doing artwork, eating in nice restaurants, going to gigs, performing/watching comedy- or anything else. For others, it means travel.

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For anyone deterred by a ‘normal life’, yet to find their ‘raison d’etre’, I encourage you to consider travel. For others, this may already be the clear way forwards.

Like I said at the beginning, sometimes travel doesn’t feel like a choice. For whatever reason, whether it’s disdain at the thought of moving passively through life or something else, travel can hold a huge allure that drives us towards it.

There is no ‘one way’ to live fully- no objective truth to what it means to live a good life. It’s different for everyone. Yet, if there’s a problem, go fix it. If you feel frustrated with home, compelled to break away from what is known and are excited and impassioned by the prospect of the exotic, well then...travel, travel, travel.