Travel has always been something closely connected with the search for meaning, having a meaningful life, wanting to experience more life.
There’s always this sense that there’s more out there, that by moving myself to some new place, I can experience some new dimension of life, maybe even find some deeper meaning in life.
And if I describe it like that, it does seem kind of silly to think that there’s meaning to be found somewhere else, as if some other part of the world will somehow reveal something very different.
It seems like, really, travel is moving yourself.
I mean, it’s moving your body to a different location in the world, and that’s all.
You’re just going somewhere else.
It doesn’t actually change anything.
So what is it about this that still continues to draw me, just like so many other people?
And there’s a couple of things that I think that it does.
And the first one is to have a reset.
It’s a break from whatever your routine is.
So when you’re going about your daily routine, it’s almost like you could be sleepwalking.
Because when you’re at home, you know where everything is, you know everything that’s expected.
There’s this feeling that you can go through your day knowing what is going to be coming up.
Which can be very comforting, but then also can feel very limiting, as if nothing interesting is going to happen. […]
And when you put yourself in a new location, you are suddenly in a state of having nothing being predictable. […]
Suddenly, you are no longer able to go through that routine motion.
If you try, you’ll just bump into walls and drop things.
So you are forced to wake up.
You’re forced to be present in the moment.
So it’s like this kind of shock therapy of you have to pay attention, otherwise you can’t do anything.
Whereas when you’re at home, you have more of that option of kind of being on autopilot.
The other thing is, well, the actual reason that we actually travel, often, is we actually want to see the place where we’re going, and that’s, of course, obviously, what travel can bring us, is that we get to see a different part of the world, a different way of living.
And so it suggests another option, another way of how we might live.
It gives new perspective of, oh, that’s how those people live there.
And maybe I don’t necessarily want to live like that, but it’s another perspective that it sort of expands what I see as being a possible way to live a human life.
So it really does give that feeling of expansion of what’s possible.
Even if, after experiencing it, and after the novelty wears off, I often think, oh, I like my way of life better.
I like the way that I live.
And often, travel leads me to greater appreciation for my home.
And wow, I love the novelty of these other places, but I also, relatively speaking, I’m pretty happy with the place that I live.
So travel offers this reset, and also new perspective.
And that’s something I think is very valuable.
Besides simply just the fun factor, just the curiosity and the experience of it being fun in itself, just the feeling of exploration.
Even though, maybe the word exploration: I mean, other people have been there before me, so it’s not like I’m discovering anything, but for myself, it’s exploration when I go to a new part of the world, for me.
It’s just the curiosity of seeing some new side of the world.
So all those things are great about travel.
But I also see that there’s a limit.
There’s only so far it goes.
I think it’s possible to put too much energy and focus into always looking for that next hit of this drug, this novelty of I want to see the next new place, I want the next exciting adventure, always looking to move somewhere else.
And that novelty feeling, it’s really exhilarating, the feeling of the first few days in a completely new place, and I can see that can be addicting.
I just want that excitement.
I want to keep going to keep finding new places.
And at some point, maybe it just becomes running away.
Because that’s always maybe the downside of travel, is this idea of running away from home, wanting to hide from home.
So yes, we get a break from our everyday routine, but are we simply avoiding it?
So if that goes too far, then it becomes some kind of avoidance.
But where’s the line?
I don’t know.
Because if we don’t have a reason why we need to be fixed in a particular location, why shouldn’t we be travelling as much as we choose?
So I see it as a useful tool.
Travel is a useful tool for expanding our life, improving our life, but it does have its limits.
It doesn’t offer any kind of complete solution.
It’s not like a happiness solution in any way, but only one tool that we can use.
So I’d be curious to hear, what do you think about travel?
What do you find that it does for your life?
And do you have any recommendations where to go?
Where would you like to go next?
#travellife #meaningfultravel #whytravel