Does travel make you happier?
I’m writing this on day 367 in San Pedro de Atacama Chile. I left my old life behind just over one year ago.
Sometimes this blog feels like such a big part of my life that the comments really affect me. In my survey one responder said I appeared damaged; I was taken aback by the comment but then I realized it was true – but not as you may think.
Nothing dramatic happened. No one harmed me. In fact it was practically the opposite. My life was easy. I was neither challenged nor inspired. I became indifferent, stagnant and bored.
I was treading water.
Preferring to sink or swim I escaped to Latin America. This year has been the most emotional, stressful, joyful, agonizing, rewarding, perfect, disastrous…you get the idea.
Throwing myself into this situation forced me to take a good look at myself and answer tough questions like: who am I? what do I really want in life?
Through travel I was able to take a look at my life and arrive at a point where I’m excited to get up in the morning. This year I have learned new things, pushed myself, succeed AND failed.
I found my spark
I don’t think everyone needs to run off to Latin America. I could have learned all of these lessons at home. But I was afraid. Afraid to make even the smallest change in life, to stray from success, for my friends and family to see me fail.
So instead of making small changes toward real happiness I decided to throw all the cards in the air and play 52 pick up.
It was terrifying and liberating. The fear lessened when I started writing about it, letting the whole world see me and all my imperfections. I shared all of the things that petrify me because I wanted you to know you are not alone.
We are all self-conscious and unsure.
No one knows what they are doing with their life.
If we all talked about this we would feel far less lonely.
We wouldn’t have to pretend that everything is fine.
Everything isn’t always fine.
A year ago I wondered what was wrong with me. Why did I need to travel? Why couldn’t I be content like everyone else.
But we are all searching for the same thing, pretending that we already have it, we all want to be happy, to love and to be loved.
We all want joy.
It took me a while to find it but after a year I can say that I found it. If you’re wondering does travel make you happier, in this case the answer would be yes.