I see two kinds of people around me:
- People who travel. They have this great ambition to discover and explore. The more they discover and explore, the more they want to discover and explore.
- People who don’t travel (even if they could). They don’t ask much of life, don’t have many ambitions or at least their ambitions are totally un-related to others’ ambitions.
For conversational purposes, let’s name the first kind Aldo and the second kind Archie.
Every time Aldo looks at an Instagram account or reads a travel blog, he gets impatient for his next trip. He knows he isn’t going to live forever and he’s never going to be able to visit all the wonderful places in the world but he is going to do his best to see as much as he can.
Archie sometimes may “just” want to enjoy his job and absorb his daily lifestyle. He leads a fulfilling and happy life without needing to travel. He sure would like to travel to that tropical country his colleague told him about, but it’s not on top of his list and he would never mind if he doesn’t ever get to go there at all.
Let’s say they are both 25 and pretty much similar in their standards of lifestyle.
You will always find Aldo either planning or on another trip. At times, when he’s not able to travel much, it is very hard for him. He does not enjoy sitting in one place, waiting for his travel funds or awaiting the right time and place. He tries and does lots of things that he may enjoy as much as travelling, but it just adds to his desire to travel even more; it creates a restlessness in him.
Archie, who does not travel that often (or at all – I‘m not sure. I’ll leave that for a different story), does not get frequent desires to leave it all behind and backpack and go whoosh in an instant. He’s not the curious kind. He considers himself a little out of the crowd. He enjoys his own reality.
Let’s ask each of them a question. ‘What does travel mean to you?’
Aldo: ‘Travelling is something which my whole life circles around. If only I had an option to leave it all behind and run away from my every day mundane job. I have travelled to 5 different countries so far. Travelling gave me an exposure to so many different things – learning how other people live, how places develop, how our differences are so similar. Above all, I got to learn so much about myself from travelling. The monotone life is not designed for me. I pity people who do not travel even if they can.’
Archie: ‘Travelling for me is basically movement from one place to another. I’m not the curious kind. I don’t want to explore. It’s not that I restrict myself from learning new things – I just don’t think that travelling the world is the ultimate way to live life and find joy. I would rather take a whole summer tucked up in a corner of my house and read books. I can’t handle being so busy and stuck up in doing something all the time, that I forget my hold on reality. My real world is not so bad – it asks me to remain in the safety of my cubicle land. It’s warm and fuzzy here and I like it. People who travel all the time and forget everything develop a presumption that they are somehow better than everyone else just because their passion is travel.’
Restlessness and monotony – both can be tricky to interpret in their own way.
Restlessness makes you yearn to fill your life with fun and excitement. It gives you a long-standing frustration that you’re not going to get to see every place you want to – you always want to go to more places and doubt if you’ll ever be satisfied on that score, which is a bit of a negative way to be at times. Along with this enthusiasm, comes an insecurity that ‘all this will soon end’. This attitude can also make you envious of those who live life with few desires but who seem quite satisfied.
Similarly, monotony and too much simplicity in live may lead to a devil’s workshop in mind. If you’re like that, travel will make you feel more alive without a doubt. It will inspire you, kindling that lost flicker of creativity until new ideas start to boil and bubble from deep within. Travel challenges your well-worn assumptions and accumulated habits. Above all, travel makes you appreciate the familiarity of home. It restores your sense of childlike wonder for what was already there.
At the same time, it Is okay in life to take passion in things except for travel. Because, we all know that travel is in fact a luxury – one that is not always possible. So, if you do not ask much of life and don’t have many ambitions to explore – it is okay. It is in no way ever implied that you are inferior and your life is empty.
Which category do you think you fall into?
Do you get restless to fill your life with excitement? Or, would you rather live your life with few desires and be satisfied with it?