Travelling or running away?

A couple of times I have heard people saying: “I need to stop travelling and settle down, and live a real life.” I’ve started reflecting on the fact how many of us travel to escape something. And is it really escaping something or finding something?

For some people, hard life situations are a reason to go and explore new places. If those people run away from something, that is definitely sadness, misery and hardship they have had to deal with. And travelling is a good excuse not just to run away but to change the direction of one’s life. Instead of negativity, they choose something unknown and exciting that might bring them happiness. Definitely, there are always people out there travelling for the pure thrill of the road, but there are even more who set off on the journey, not to get somewhere, but to get away or find their own happiness.

I met a man who left his high-profile life, high-paying job in a big company, social security, prestige lifestyle. He completed a baking and pastry course and moved to undeveloped Asian country to look for his happiness. He started doing what he loved. He met a woman of his dreams and then both of them moved together to another country. Both of them are very happy. They travel, cook, take photos of their dog and places they visit, and they live their life the way they want.

However, there are people who don’t travel but they ‘run away’ from their problems by drinking, unfortunately even taking drugs, being violent, cheating their partners, beating their kids. But there are also those who ‘run away’ from their problems by playing video games, entertaining other people, doing some sport. So, not everyone reacts in the same way.

Most of the people we meet while travelling look forward to some new experiences, change and learning. A traveller’s journey is the learning journey. And if it is a running away then it is often a great escape. However, I can’t completely agree that travelling is a run away thing. Travellers look towards something and actually they head toward new knowledge, new encounters, new roads, new people. Some of the travellers I have met decided to travel to learn new sports, practice yoga in different yoga retreats, learn new languages, improve their cooking skills, understand new culture, find their happy place on earth. They have decided to experience the abundance of freedom, spontaneity, creativity and self-awareness. They have realized that this world is a beautiful place and that it would be pity not to get to know it better. Instead of running away these people were running towards the true living.

As Mark Twain said: “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.”

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