Traveling and the Search for the Elusive Self.

If there were a list of the top three things that I like to do in life, to travel is among them. Over the past few years, I have traveled a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed every second. The virtue of travel is that it exposes you to other cultures, people and ways of life. It helps develop a global mindset, it puts things into perspective.

If traveling does fundamentally change you, it’s only because you’ve done some important self-work while you were there. But it’s work you can do anywhere, and very few people actually get around to it when there’s a new city to explore and world to get lost in.

Becoming who I am has been a process of deep self-inquiry, reading, and mindfully changing my habits…. You can spend the entirety of your life moving from place to place, but you should not expect that your problems will not follow you there. Travel becomes entirely different when you’re not using it as a crutch. I cleaned up my life before I started traveling, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Invest in figuring the hard stuff out first and travel later, when you can be self-aware and stable and at peace. Or travel while you do it, I don’t really care, just don’t expect a long flight and tight suitcase and days wandering and looking at things to be a salve to your wounds.

To quote Robert Pirsig – “The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values).

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4 Comments

  1. “If traveling does fundamentally change you, it’s only because you’ve done some important self-work while you were there. But it’s work you can do anywhere, and very few people actually get around to it when there’s a new city to explore and world to get lost in.”- this is so true!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To travel consciously, you have to get away of the modern habit of rushing from one place to another; took the picture, have the T-shirt, up to another destination mentality. Formulas like “The Tour of Europe in 14 Days” or “Around the World in One Year” give me the creeps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that is such a good point! Also, I’m a bit of a fan of returning to places, even if I’ve been before (not a popular thing to do nowadays, but I can safely say countries don’t get less beautiful if you’ve already been there 😉 ). And I really don’t think I’d be a fan of a whizz around the world/Europe/Asia etc trip- I’m sure some people get something out of them, but the concept doesn’t appeal to me!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The most important realization that came to me lately is, that if I really want to see things, I can’t try to see ALL of them. So I just resigned to the fact that there exist some beautiful places that I’ll never see, or good books I’ll never read, etc … in order to digest better those phenomenon I manage to experience.

        Like

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