It’s the age-old story… Girl loses herself and struggles to find her joy and passion for life. So, she runs away to a foreign country where she eats new food, meets new people, and goes on a journey of self-discovery whilst picking up Buddhism and a tan along the way.
Well, at least that’s the story that I keep coming back to all the time. And I’m sure there are a lot of people who come back to that exact same fantasy plenty of times in their life.
It doesn’t help that movies such as ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ or ‘Wild’ tell us that going travelling, or embarking upon a tough journey, will somehow answer all of life’s questions.
Will travelling the world save your soul, like the movies claim?
I would love to go travelling around the world. I see people on social media working from abroad whilst travelling and it seems like the perfect life. The locations are idyllic, the pictures are stunning and the travellers talk of all the amazing things they discover; how it has opened their eyes to the world.
Now, I’m not saying that any of that isn’t true. That’s not the point of this piece.
I’m sure that it is the most incredible experience that opens your eyes to all that is out there to explore. I’m 90% sure that I would love it. That’s why I keep daydreaming about running away to travel the world.
But what about the remaining 10%?
The remaining 10% of me comes back to something that a friend’s mum once said. When her mum was in her 20’s she went travelling and had an absolute blast. But what she says about the experience really hits home for me…
“You can run away travelling and it will be incredible, but when you come back home, you will find yourself right back where you started; confused and looking for the next thing.”
Sometimes the answer to your problem is to find a life that makes you happy here and now, right where you are.
Would I love to go travelling? Yes, I would and I will do.
Will travelling the world save your soul? Probably not.
The constant conflicts within myself of what I’m doing with my life, my wanting a purpose, and knowing what I am meant to do and who I’m meant to be, will not be solved by travelling.
So, how do I ‘find myself’ without going travelling?
These conflicts will probably never fully fall into place, but they will become clearer over time. And I will find peace and stability with my choices over time.
Running away abroad for a while would be a temporary escape from responsibility, but when I came back I would be right back in this same place of feeling uncertain.
So, maybe a ‘year out’/belated ‘gap yaaah’ are off the cards for now. But I am going to fulfil that want of going travelling. It will be for a short amount of time to give me a taster, and to have something to look forward to.
Maybe what I need is something to work towards; a new adventure.
That adventure should be my day-to-day life. It can be anything that I choose. I just have to make it happen.
It’s time to choose happiness now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow won’t wait and travelling the world won’t save your soul.