Travel is humbling, as it reminds us the world is full of things that have nothing to do with us.
Traveling gives us perspective, as it allows us to look at our own life from a far. And travel ignites imagination, as it disrupts our routine, introduces novelty to our brain and reactivates reward circuits.
But let’s be clear. There is nothing in this world that we can’t turn into heroin.
There are as many addictions as there are people to suffer from them, and traveling is no exception.
The manual of mental disorders recently added the term travel addiction, aka, vagabond neurosis, aka, pathological tourism, as an impulse control disorder. Psychiatrists characterize it by an abnormal impulse to travel in which people are prepared to spend beyond their means, sacrifice jobs, lovers, and security in their lust for new experiences.
It may sound like an extreme and unnecessary label, but then again, we now live in a world where people are sacrificing their sanities for the urge to brag that they’ve been everywhere.
Thanks a lot, social media.
In short, travel has become for many a form of escape from the disappointment of the present moment. People’s constant planning is what fuels their immediate addiction that can become a slippery slope to madness.
People lust to travel because they hope that by going somewhere else, there will be more happiness waiting for them.
But they’re not traveling, they’re running.
And the irony is, as in all addiction, we discover that we carry ourselves with us, everywhere we go. When we build our life around running from the understanding and acceptance of how things really are, we’re in trouble.
Emerson wrote that though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Koontz echoed those remarks by saying that if you stand in one place long enough, a lifetime’s worth of adventure will find you.
Both writers show us that despite the joys, wonders and benefits of traveling, ultimately, the onus is still on us to find adventure everywhere we go. Even if we don’t go anywhere.
To me, this is an opportunity to create leverage for our own lives. We can increase our return on experience through our intention and attention.
Because adventure is simply our attitude toward adversity. Adventure is inconvenience rightly considered.
In surrendering to life as it unfolds, we opens up the possibility of traveling the world.
Maybe we leave the house, maybe we don’t.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What adventures might follow if you free yourself in that way?