TAKE A BREAK!!! Stop right now and picture yourself in the travel destination of your dreams. Focus in on it and figure out why you chose it. What would be different? What would you experience? Why do people love to travel? Taking ourselves out of our environment and going somewhere totally different lets us see and experience new things, interact in new ways, and leave our current state and become someone else.
Sure our bodies, minds, and emotions go with us when we travel but what we really love is living in a world that’s not the daily grind. Even the stuff that we love in our lives (our coffee maker, our beds, our cars, whatever) we would happily get rid of in exchange for the experience of being somewhere or something else. But why? Don’t we pick the lives we live carefully? We hopefully live in a home we like, have friends we like, and a job we like. Why are we so excited to leave it?
We’re excited because we get bored with the status quo, as it makes us think that we personally are “status quo” or unchanging. We think that because our daily lives don’t change much, we as people also are locked into being who we are. A dynamic life becomes much harder when we start to let habits kick in and take over. And before long, we’re miserable. We’re miserable not because of our lives, but because we start to think that we are who we are and can’t change.
We start to use words like “can’t.” I “can’t” do that. What we are really saying I “won’t” do that, but we hate making decisions that cut off options. We claim we have a nature and a temperament. “I’m not a morning person” or “I am a morning person.” We say things like “I’m not good at math” or “I can’t lose weight.” We start to think that life and business have these arbitrary societal rules.
Lack of change creates boundaries, fixed ideas, and closed-mindedness, and finally leads us to being frustrated and lazy and living lives of quiet desperation. We naturally think that we are who we are, the rules of the world are the rules of the world, and nothing could ever change. Traveling then gives us a short breath of fresh air that life is dynamic. We similarly clamor to the next season of our favorite TV show or new iPhone because it reminds us someone somewhere is making new ideas. We love the excitement of meeting someone who doesn’t feel confined by life or plays by the rules. And on the dark side, we find drugs and other things to either “set us free” or numb the pain.
At the root of the issue is that we have to realize that we aren’t fixed. We aren’t shy, smart, charismatic, broke, wealthy, fat, skinny, or anything else. We are whatever we want to be. Our habits lead us to where we are now, and they can lead us out if we choose. The greatest travel you can do is traveling in your mind. Find a new frontier you’ve never seen before and go there. Talk to someone you’d never have the nerve to talk to before. You’ll feel alive. Learn something new you never saw before.
If you become a person of transition and travel you could lead a phenomenally dynamic life without ever leaving your city. I’m not anti-travel; the opposite, I think travel is great BECAUSE it leads you to realize that there is more to life than your daily existence.
I spent so much of my life scared to change. I was frustrated that I couldn’t do certain things. I’m still so annoyed I’m not where I want to be. But what I’ve found is that now I tell myself that I no longer work on projects or jobs. I’m the project. I work on me. So if I want to know more about something, it’s pointless to be upset; just go learn about it. If I feel stagnant in my life, I need to go change something. See, the point is that once you see yourself as a canvas instead of a finished painting, you lose your security but you find your freedom.
Freedom and security are opposites. The most secure place in the world is a prison. You can’t be free while hoping to be static and comfortable. This summer, try to travel more than just across the world; try to go somewhere with your life. Do this by trying to really understand and believe that we are a work in progress—and that we should actually be making measurable progress daily.