Travellers are often caught between two worlds: life on the road, and life back home. More often than not, home feels less like home each time you return.
To some, travel is not just an annual trip, a get-a-way or a phase of life; to the traveller, it is a way of life. Yet you feel an internal tug-of-war with competing priorities weighing down on you. You want to live a life surrounded by family and friends, yet the allure of the adventurous, nomadic life you have already experienced is calling you – it’s absolutely intoxicating.
When you start to settle down in one place, you often feel drawn elsewhere, like the ocean tide gently pulling you away. You daydream about all of the exotic places you somehow feel connected to and often reminisce in waves of nostalgia over distant memories of past adventures. You constantly compare your day-to-day life to your time spent traveling, and life at home resultantly feels monotonous, stagnant and somehow less meaningful, sparking waves of restlessness and a sense of urgency to take off again.
People may not understand you; sometimes you don’t even understand yourself. You don’t know entirely what you want, but you know that it lies both here and far. You watch as friends get married, buy homes and start families, are you’re envious yet indifferent; you’re priorities somehow feel so unconventional.
You resent the fact that you are doing what you are “supposed to” be doing and you long to break free; you work to simply afford to be able to work, a vicious cycle almost comical in its ridiculousness. You spend almost all your money on rent and you are acutely aware of the little left at the end of the month because every penny of it is designated to your ‘travel fund’.
You sit at an office cubicle all day, while you claustrophobically count down the hours until Friday, and the weeks until your precious vacation time. On weekends you desperately attempt to recharge and re-inspire yourself; to realign with the version of yourself found on the road; the version of yourself who you recall was more vivacious, spontaneous and free. You deeply understand that there is more to life – that experiences and memories will always be more valuable than possessions. You cannot wait until more money is saved, until the time is right, or until retirement – you yearn to live in the now.
You feel this way, because you’ve already had a taste of the unknown; you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone; you’ve widened your horizons. Traveling opens up your perspective and creates space for surreal experiences; it unearths opportunities to meet unique people and unveil new life lessons. These all make imprints in you that cannot be altered, reversed or suppressed. Each stop we make and each person we connect with, becomes an exchange that impacts us in some way, propelling us forward. So remember, these experiences happened exactly as they were meant to, ultimately to influence which direction you will choose to take in life.
As much as you may resent the highs and lows of feeling trapped between these two worlds, recognize that not everyone will know this feeling because not everyone will have the opportunity to travel. Traveling is a privilege. So cherish this feeling – its a reminder of your passion for life. In the end, whether you choose to sell all your belongings and book a one way ticket abroad, or you simply move on to a more ‘settled’ chapter in your life, know that travel will always be there. Learn to accept that it is a part of you, and you may find yourself building a life around travel, instead of trying to fit travel into your life.
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