Running away was easy; not knowing what to do next was the hard part. – Glenda Millard
A Friend Of Mine
A couple of months ago, a good friend got in touch asking for some advice.
She had fallen into deep depression and was going through a rough patch in her life. She was no longer passionate about her job, had lost contact with her closest friends and found it difficult to find excitement in day to day life.
She asked me whether going travelling with her issues would be a good idea.
She thought that by travelling for a year, she would fix her problems through new experiences and her life would improve upon her return home.
This got me thinking.
I know a lot of people who hit the road trying to run away from problems, only to find that the same problems remained when they returned home.
I am one of those people too.
When I first went travelling, I set off with the intention of trying to find my calling or passion in life. I was confused, didn’t know what I wanted from life, and was running away from my problems rather than dealing with them there and then.
In hindsight my plan to solve my problems didn’t work and I want to use the rest of the article to explore why travelling with problems isn’t the best.
Travel Will Not Solve Your Problems
With so many opportunities for new, novel and wonderful experiences, travel can be very dangerous indeed.
In the spur of the moment, you pack your problems in the wardrobe, lock them up for a year and set of on your world adventure.
And at first it’s exactly like you expected. Like an impulse buy, travel gives you that short-lived gratification you had been graving.
You put on your goggles, and fall into your little travel bubble, where life is dandy because you’re meeting lots of new people and having many great. experiences.
It feels good, very good…………………………………. temporarily.
But sooner or later, there comes a point when reality smacks you in the face.
And it hurts.
That moment you were dreading before you left has arrived. You’ve run out of money and you’ve got no option but to go home and face your issues.
You’re back to square one, or “real life” as some call it, and once again, you’re standing in front of that wardrobe ready to reopen the problem.
The problem is still there and it hasn’t changed.
You tried to mask it, that didn’t work and now you’re now faced with that “now what?” moment.
Confront Your Problems First, Then Go Travel
Just like an expensive purchase, travel will only gratify you in the short term, and is a quick fix therapy for your problems.
It’s not going to cut it.
At some point, unless you work hard and get incredibly lucky to turn travel into a sustainable lifestyle, your resources will dwindle and you’ll come back full circle to the place where you began your adventure.
Instead, confront your problems first, and only travel once you are on good terms with yourself and your position in life.
You’ll find much more joy in the experience when you’re in a good head space, because you won’t have the issue subtly picking away at you in the back of your mind.
Travel is a life-changing experience, and you’ll encounter many new experiences on the road, but it’s certainly not a medicine for your problems.
The world is a big playground, and yes there’s space for you to hide, but eventually the smog will clear and those problems will creep around the corner and confront you when you least expect it.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Sunday 24th January 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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