Chasing the dream. Let’s be honest – most of us wouldn’t consider the second option.
We want to learn about ourselves, face our fears, and explore beautiful destinations, whether
more or less known.
We have the desire to experience something new and unknown, meet new people, and be introduced to a different, more exciting lifestyle.
We want to have a taste of those inspiring travel Instagrammers’ lives. We want to travel.
TRAVEL – CHASING THE DREAM OR A RUNAWAY?
“Why do you keep trying to run away from everything..?”
A question I was asked, by a very close person to my heart. A question that hit me like a ton of bricks. My first thought was, of course along the lines of ‘what do you mean.’ But then I started thinking..
I always thought about wanting to travel – being able to discover the unknown and getting
out of my comfort zone, but most importantly – to stop the monotony.
The routine that was slowly eating me alive.
I created a dream in my head that I wanted (needed) to follow.
Exactly 6 months ago, I picked up my 36-liter backpack and left for my biggest adventure yet. I finally got the courage to do it.
In my mind I wasn’t ‘running away, I was simply looking for something.
And I could not pinpoint what that thing was. As hard as I tried.
I had a 2-month return ticket home.
I had someone to go back to.
As the months were going past, I kept extending my ticket, that in the end became unused. I didn’t want to return. Instead, I kept hopping from one place to the next on the other side of the world.
Something was keeping me here, or maybe – from going back.
WE ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH A PHASE IN SOCIETY THAT DOES NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT TRAVELLING
How easy and simple it is to just do it.
What a great idea it is to drop everything and go – quit your job, leave everything behind and go chase your dreams. Because.. why not?
First of all – It’s great, don’t get me wrong. People are getting inspired to see beyond what
All of the dreamy locations posted by travelers, all the beautiful beaches with
white sands and the clearest & most turquoise waters.. who wouldn’t wish for that?
This is the dream – and we want it.
But it’s also kind of misleading. Of course, it’s not that easy to just get up and leave. We make it look like it is, all those ‘how to quit your job and travel guides’ – are great, but it takes time, preparation, savings, and sh*t loads of courage.
How long can the dream be chased for, and how long until we are fully satisfied with it?
Is it actually possible? Or in the end, do we need to figure out what it is exactly, what is the thing that made us want to leave in the first place?
Usually, this means digging deep – as the reason on the surface is only the beginning.
All of the media influence created the perception in our minds of travel being all & only great things, without many ugly hiccups (Instagram.. ekhem).
Even if we are really happy with our lives, we cannot help but compare our lifestyles.
Who wouldn’t prefer to be at one of those stunning locations from that famous travel blogger’s recent photo “they’re living the dream, right?”
So, we begin to put all of the pieces together and build our own dream. Even, if we have the perfect job, an amazing and loving boyfriend, great friends, and family.
We create a different, new perspective, maybe one that is based on all of the exciting stories we’ve read & the photographs we’ve seen.
And who are we kidding, deep down we strongly believe that the missing & empty part of our soul will be fulfilled and all of the worries or problems will magically solve themselves?
We start to see things we don’t like and little things become frustrating.
We daydream about going away extensively.
Our soul starts screaming to be free from the monotony.
THEN SOME OF US MANAGE TO HAVE ENOUGH STRENGTH & COURAGE TO GO AHEAD WITH IT. AND WE LEAVE.
Every single cell in our body screams out of excitement and we’re also frightened about the unknown. The adrenaline rush is simply indescribable.
This is what we’ve wanted for so long. We’re finally doing it, we’re chasing that dream – even if we’re clueless to what it is exactly.
And so, this is where it starts – prepare for your life to be turned completely upside down.
In the end, it’s already a shocker that we just distanced ourselves from what we used to think we wanted a few years back.
IS THIS REAL?
We wonder why were we ever so scared to do what feels so perfectly natural right now.
Realizing, that travel is exactly what we want to do. So the journey continues – visits to impressive places, countries we never thought our foot will step in, we meet new & inspiring people every single day.
Even if not everything goes to plan – we get ill or relationships back home start to suffer, it’s hard to stop and think clearly. But in the end, it’s still easier than being back in the routine.
We learn how to accept things as they are, how to concentrate on the better not worse, we learn to face our fears but also how to turn them into something much less frightening.
There is no responsibility, no worries, no problems and time are pretty non-existent right
now. It’s perfect, even if it’s not.
We feel stronger and so much braver
We’re living that dream
But sooner or later, the time approaches and the bank account starts screaming for its food. Sh**t.
There is a choice – go home or continue and try to support ourselves financially.
The thought of going home scares the heck out of us. So, many stay
We realize that of course, having no responsibilities is great, but sooner or later we need to go back to reality.
Deep down, however, we hope we can escape it. So, we start thinking of all kinds of ways to do just that.
Whether it’s teaching English, blogging, or simply working in a bar – by that point, we don’t
really mind as long as we can carry on living this life and not going back.
Then, soon a worry throws itself at us.
A routine – smaller or bigger starts to create itself. We cannot be as careless as we were a few weeks back when island hopping or visiting an endless amount of temples in SE Asia.
We start missing the crazy night buses and cheap & shi**y accommodation. At that point of our lives where time simply didn’t matter – whether a journey from A to B would take 2 or 20 hours, nobody cared because we were free.
We begin to think about having to get up and go again sooner or later and keep chasing.
Then it kicks in again, is the routine going to become what I managed to escape from?
Is it possible to be free long term?
. . OR IS RUNNING AWAY THE DREAM THAT WE ARE CHASING?
We are travelers – our minds constantly wander, looking for new adventures
We cannot sit in one place for too long because our feet start to itch unbearably. Whether it’s searching for something or running away.. by that point we don’t really care.
We need to keep moving.
So, can we ever find a balance between living the dream and supporting ourselves?
Or are we, as travelers constantly running away?
If a routine is what we wanted to leave behind – whether it’s work, a broken heart, or an emptiness within ourselves.. can we ever have a lifestyle without it?
Can we find a routine that does not turn into a monotony? Or is there something that we’re missing?
Maybe this is the philosophy behind travel and chasing our dreams.
When does it stop, does it ever?
“DON’T TELL ME HOW EDUCATED YOU ARE, TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU HAVE TRAVELLED.”
(Still, by far my favorite quote of all time)
In the end, no matter how educated we are, nothing will open our eyes as much as travel
Now I don’t mean chilling in posh resorts in Egypt or Mexico. I mean getting out of your
comfort zone and getting to know the culture, the people, and the lifestyle.
We realize how absolutely clueless we were before. We also realize that travel is what makes us happy and maybe we have to keep chasing until we find the place.
A place that will make us feel like we belong – every single part and cell of our body and mind were born to be there. Maybe that’s when everything falls into place and we find what we are deep down, looking for.
SO WHAT KEEPS US AWAY?
One of the things is the realization of how much we have changed as a person – the experiences we’ve lived, the things we learned and did.
We have a completely new set of eyes, our expectations & perceptions are nowhere close to what they were before.
All those changes – make it feel like we’ve been away for a lifetime. We fear feeling like we don’t belong anymore, but did we ever in the first place?
People might struggle to understand us & feel confused about how can someone change so much in such a short period of time. They might also find it strange why we feel the need to go away once again.
I say, let’s keep exploring and whether it’s searching or running away – maybe it’s ok either way.
So, if for now, all we know is that travel makes us happy – we should just let it be, grab and hold on to it for as long as it’ll be.
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About the author
Eli is a world traveler currently, making her way through the fourth continent.
Visit her blog for lots of travel inspiration, guides, and tips. You can also find advice on how to travel with allergies & sensitive skin, as she suffers from both herself.