Travel – Escapism or Enlightenment?

Living in the so called “no compromise” era I have always wondered what is it about travel that gives us an adrenalin rush and yet at the same time makes us take a step back and reflect upon our lives. Travelling solo or with friends, long term or short term, travelling surely gives that rare feeling of sweet satisfaction and a sense of achievement and completion. A feeling which generations before us would widely experience by simply being with their significant other. A feeling that we as millennials quite often if not always, keep struggling to figure the source of. This got me questioning, what is it that we are trying to get out of our travels? Does travelling help us answer some of our lives queries? Why do we travel?

 

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  1. A sense of individuality and freedom.

“The farther I travel, the closer I am to myself” – Andrew McCarthy

Nothing in this world can beat the feeling of travelling on your own paycheck. Well may be getting your first paycheck! The sense of not being dependent on your parents or not needing permission to travel is something words can rarely describe. My first solo travel was to Egypt and the feeling of accomplishment that I experienced when I was on the top of Sinai Mountains at 4am in the morning, along with other solo travelers from across the globe was fantastic. It was then that I realized, happiness even if it is fleeting 😉 lies within us. We do not need someone else’s acceptance in order to feel belonged and loved.

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2.That adrenalin rush of living in the moment.

“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage” – Anonymous.

Let’s face it.  We are all living in an Instagram envy world.A slightly dangerous world if I may, where the number of likes and social media followers are slowly yet increasingly becoming more important than the actual number of real life friends. Sounds lame and super depressing right? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to break out of this superficial loop and live life on our own terms? Not waiting to be validated by social media?  But to do exactly what you want and how you want it. Not everyone has the courage to live life on their own terms, but it is never too late to start.

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3. Is travel a temporary solution to stay away from our responsibilities?

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world” – Mary Anne Radacher

If you are after your “I want to break free” moment. I say go for it!It might not be the best of solutions, but we have all felt it. When we are fed up of the 9 – 5 lives we lead, or simply cannot keep up with life’s pressures, haven’t we all dreamt of quitting our jobs and moving to a place where no one knows us and start afresh? Open a cute little café and have a relaxed life with no deadlines to meet or targets to achieve? Well this is rarely the case, which is why vacations are like a drug to us, addictive and keeps us leaving wanting for more. Personally traveling has given me the time to think things over and come back with renewed energy to deal with problems, professional and personal.

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4.In search of our soul mate.

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself” – Cloud Atlas.

City life as we know it can sometimes get onto us and finding that special someone is really difficult in today’s world when most of the people you know are either trying to become CEOs at 30 or working night and day to make that start up a success. A long term relation or marriage quite often is the last thing on our minds, and yet at the same time we earn for that special someone to bond with at the end of the day. A special someone who would be the constant in our ever changing roller coaster of a life. More often than not, we know what we DO NOT want in a person rather than what we want in them. And sometimes we wish we are lucky enough to find them in a land far away. If not, we can definitely look forward to finding ourselves and make new friends in a foreign land.

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5.Trying to bridge the gap in a troubled relation.

“Travel brings Power and Love back to your life” – Rumi.

Does travelling really help work out a broken relation? Is it not running away from the relation and its problems?  From my personal experience I can say that travelling with your partner while facing problems in the relation, actually helps broaden your horizon and helps you look at things from a different perspective. Lack of communication among partners is a major issue that gives birth to most of the complications in a relation. And there is something about travel, being in a different environment, experiencing news things together makes us take a step back and fall in love with our partner all over again, reminding us why we chose him or her in the first place. Travelling solo after a break up or a major fight also gives us time to figure out the source of the problem and gives us a fresh approach to deal with it. However if a relation is over for good and two people are truly not happy with each other, then no amount of vacation or alcohol can wash away the real pain. In that case move on!

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6.The “I can do it too” phase.

“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world”, Freya Stark. 

If everyone can, so can I! I have met so many people who want to go on a solo trip, have decided on the place and have the finance too, however they simply do not have the courage to take that first step towards booking the flight. The inertia can be strong but once you get over it, the experience is exhilarating to say the least. Best part of travelling? Meeting like minded fellow travelers and sharing experiences, learning about new cultures and discovering new aspects about your own personality that you never knew existed. As the great author J.R.R Tolkien aptly wrote in The Lord Of The Rings, “Not all who wander are lost.”

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7.To stop living in a bubble.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” – Helen Keller

We will never know what is in store for us unless we try something new and step outside our comfort zone. Push our limits. Too often we complain about how monotonous our life is and yet get back to the same old routine every Monday. Weekend motivation reads are truly helpful only if we are willing to do something different after that weekend. That breakthrough we all want in our lives comes in different form for us. For some it is the miracle of a child birth, for some it is getting married, for some it is their dream job, or winning a lottery! But for some it is travel.

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8.When travel becomes life itself.

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey” – Babs Hoffman.

 All inspirational stories have one thing in common. Defeating fear. Fear is the main obstacle that stops us from doing what we want to do. Fear of failure, fear of what others might say, fear of being misunderstood by our loved ones and fear of the unknown. A lot of us dream of traveling the world, exploring new avenues, go on an adventure which could be a highlight of our lives, but very few actually has the courage to do it. Some of us out there have mastered the art of traveling along with maintaining a balanced life with family and friends. Travel does not necessarily have to be long, far and solo. A little planning, an understanding partner, creativity and a lot of faith in ourselves can go a long way to lead the life we have always dreamt of.

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