I read recently that in our social-media saturated society, with all of the inundation of consumer products and self-branding, what we aspire to be, at the core of everything, is rich. Not necessarily because we’re materialistic, but because having ample finances means having the freedom to enjoy the finer things in life.
And this is where travelling comes in. Because the reality is that, if you really, really love travel - it’s your oxygen, your sustenance - there's two choices in front of you. You can either work in a static place to fund your intermittent journeys, or make travelling your work.
Wait, I didn't mention the third option. You could just be solely funded by a rich partner. But, if you have a propensity towards independence (Hello, solo travel!), that's not really an option.
And so the scariest thing about travelling is not travelling. It’s the space in between, the tedium of the day in and day out nose-to-the-ground hard work that keeps you sustained when you're not pulling in an income. It's writing about travelling, not because you're on an adventure, but because you're dreaming of one.
Getting over the fear
While it may not be exactly the same as being overseas in a new place, you can still capture those feelings of wonder and newness in the place you’re living in. There are a few ways to rediscover your inner traveller:
- Getting in touch with your local tourist office. You never know what you could be taking for granted, or what could be hidden in front of your very eyes!
- Planning your next big trip. Even if you still have money to save, you could make sure you know what sort of budget you would need, what places and sights you are most desperate to see, even what things you may need to pack!
The main way to understand what’s going to work best to satiate your wanderlust is to pinpoint exactly why you love to travel. You find out why you love to travel, and you’ll know how to curb the fears about not travelling.
Why do I travel?
While these seem like the words of a jaded soul (or, maybe just someone who’s watched too much Gossip Girl over the past while), it has to be asked: are we travelling because it's more accessible? Or because it affords us an escape from the everyday? Or because it symbolises a life of luxury: it's one way the common folk can pretend for a brief period of time that they too belong to the upper echelons of our community?
In my case, it's to explore. As a kid, I'd initially rejected the idea of becoming what my parents were: I wanted to be An Adventurer, and discover new places. Then, my next door neighbour at the time crushed that dream, telling me that everywhere in the world had already been discovered (mind, this was the early days of the internet, before we had the ubiquity of smartphone GPS' and Google was in the apple of its creator's eye), and that maybe I could be an astronaut?
Five year old me was offended. But where were the people in space? Places to climb and linger, with untold histories and foreign languages and a miasma of cultures and fears and love and traditions.
Thankfully, I'm privileged enough to have already experienced as much of the world as I have. But, the hunger is still there to continue travelling, and to continue to learn about other cultures and languages and histories.
Why do you travel? Share in the comments section below!