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).