Here’s a secret among travellers:
Travelling is one of the only things in this world that keeps us sane in an utterly insane world.
Travelling the world has a way of helping me realise just how good I have it. I think about my place in this life, about who I am, where I am, and where I’m going. I also think about where my funding is coming from (a lot), but that’s a matter for another day.
Before I started travelling (at every opportunity I got), my life was perfectly normal. I’d get up and do the whole 9 to 5 enchilada. Once I got home, I’d sit down for some brainwashing found on the television as part of my nightly entertainment. Come weekends, I’d just try to numb out the bustle of the insanely fast-paced life I was living, and I did this with the help of things such as beer and watching football with friends.
One of the best realisations I’ve had during my life as a nomadic traveller is the fact that I need to explore as much of this world as possible. I need to escape the madness of daily life and find sanctuary in a space and place that pushes me beyond my comfort zone.
Sure, I travel because there’s this whole wide world to see, and only a limited amount of time to see it in, but I travel because I need to. Because I need to nurture my ambition for discovering new things about myself and life, to escape the awful thing we call routine, which just drives us all, even more, nuts.
To be honest: routine is what drives most of the human population insane. We’re all driven by routine, but that very thing makes us forget who we are. It is when we are exploring the world that we have the opportunity to remember our goals, the opportunity to find sanity within the mad rush of life.
Things like the new friends I meet, stressing over my visa, hopping from one town to another via vehicles that shouldn’t even be allowed to drive in backyards, and finally, the exchange of stories between random strangers, all just seeking somewhat of an escape.
From the rich cultures of the world that I’ve had the opportunity to experience, learning their ways of life and realising that my “normal”, mundane existence before I started travelling was what was holding me back from actually living.
We’re all brought up to chase a dream; some call it the American Dream. In the end, that dream might well cost us our sanity; some say we sell our souls without even recognising it. I’m just thankful that I learned to chase something more important, and that being the dream of living a life filled with travel.
So I travel to become more aware of my existence on a daily basis. I travel because it forces me to focus on the bigger picture, to never stop exploring and to be in a state of mind of constant learning and discovering.
The thing that drives me to keep travelling for the sake of my sanity is this: when all is said and done, do I want to remember my life the way it is now, the way I spent my free time over the last 5 years. Travelling equates to living a life well worth remembering.
As the realisation of a new year hits its peak, I know that there are millions of people across the globe that will find some sanity in their travels, a chance to escape the cray-cray growing on the sidewalks.
My only hope is that this post has inspired you to live a life that’s committed to travelling as much as you possibly can.
About The Author
I’m Eric, and I’m the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics. I’m also an avid adventurer, digital nomad and traveller. I enjoy all types of outdoor sports, a good golf tan, and spontaneous weekend trips. I currently live in Brazil where I can frequently be found hiking the rain forest around my city!