I feel I’ve done a poor job so far in explaining why I’m actually passionate about traveling.
Let’s change that.
At the very core, I can’t deal with routine and standing still. I’m not talking about fidgeting during an hour-long meeting. This is about living in the same apartment, doing the same job, taking the same bus for months
and months and months. It makes me want to pack up everything and get as far away as possible.
If I can travel the world, why would I want to stay in the same place? Why not discover the amazing places I see on pictures or read about on the internet and in books and magazines? I want to see them, experience them, make my own memories.
But when I say this to other people, I’m oftentimes met with confusion.
“And for how long do you want to do this?”
“And what do you want to do afterwards?”
“And just a vacation is not enough?”
And this is where it gets tricky, because not everybody has the same priorities in life. Personally, I think there are three types of travelers—amazing in their own right but with different outlooks on the world.
1. Those who are the most happy where they are.
The first group has their one place in this world. Maybe they were already born in the right place or find it at some point in their life and decide that this is where they want to settle down. Maybe with friends, a partner or family. They are important parts of their town or neighborhood, deeply integrated in their community. And while they do go on vacation, they don’t travel too far. They prefer to experience foreign cultures and countries through documentaries, friends, or family members.
I have plenty of friends who fall into this group of people. They live where they grew up—even moving to the next bigger city seems strange to them. And why would they? After all, they are already in the place where they’re happiest and where they feel they belong.
And if you found the place that makes you feel like home and happy and all things good—without those feelings ever fading—then never question that. Feeling settled and content must be one of the most amazing feelings in the world.
I wouldn’t know but that’s kinda the reason for this blog.
2. Those who like to return home.
The next group—maybe the majority nowadays—likes having a place to call their home but also enjoys straying away from it now and then. They move around before ultimately settling down and establishing their life in one place. They break away from the daily routine a couple times a year by going on vacation, making sure to not miss out on what they truly want to see in the world, and treasuring those memories for a lifetime.
But traveling will always be secondary in life as other things take priority: job, partner, kids, mortgage payments, etc. They’re building their life after their dreams, and traveling is only one piece in the puzzle.
For these travelers, watching the sun set behind the limestone pillars in Ha Long Bay (while listening to strangers on the next lounge chairs having a heated argument about whether or not to be envious of the karaoke party on the neighboring ship—true story), will never beat the feeling of coming home after being away for a couple weeks. Because to them, coming home is one of the best feelings in world, knowing that there is a place on this planet that is waiting for them, where they can be happy and themselves and home.
3. Those who wander.
And then there are people who wander, always looking for places where their heart is calm, their mind at peace, and their smile content. They never stay in any one place for too long, though, as after a while standing still makes their hearts beat in annoyance, minds start racing with new ideas, and smiles become strained. Because places lose their magic over time and new places become the dream. And no matter how lovely the people are they meet along the way or how amazing the job opportunities might be, it is not enough to stay in one place and quench this inner feeling of wanting to move on.
I fall into this group of modern day nomads.
Don’t get me wrong, I like where I am right now. I most definitely love my apartment a.k.a. my little heaven where I can escape from the world and dream without being bothered by reality. It is full of pictures and souvenirs from all over the world, always
taunting reminding me of the world outside. But being confined to this one—albeit very pretty—place often makes me feel more claustrophobic than calm. And ultimately, to me, having an apartment means fixed costs, being worried about silly things like forgetting to turn off the stove, or imagining power outlets randomly catching fire.
Yes, it’s a lovely place to store all the things I collected over the years but do I really need it to be happy? No, I don’t think so. I was perfectly fine living out of a backpack when traveling the world for months on end. Or when volunteering abroad with only my carry-on-sized backpack on me.
I don’t feel the want to be able to return to one special place. I don’t want to settle down with a significant other and invest lots of money into buying real estate. I’d much rather keep on finding new places. Why? Because I strongly believe that I was not born to be in only one place—some people are just meant to wander and find happiness in many different places.
Maybe some people move along this spectrum throughout their life. Maybe some fall into one group and that one group only. Right now I most definitely fall into group three. And I can’t wait to get rid of the things that currently still hold me back and start my journey, hopefully finding a place where my mind settles. And then moving on to finding the next one. And then the next.
Into which group do you think you fall right now? I would love to hear your thoughts in a message or down in the comment section!
PS: A friend’s apartment burned down because a power outlet caught fire—these things actually happen!