“Oh how i’d love to travel the world!”
It’s a reoccurring thought in offices all around the world. Anyone who has *ever* spent time working at an office will admit to a daily habit of having a tab open with holiday destinations on their desktop (or mobile if you work for an anal enough company who has blocked your access to anything fun. Who are these people?!). Don’t even try to deny it. I kept wondering about the power of collective consciousness… surely all these people thinking the same thing should’ve made an impact on our reality. Remember that World Jump Day, where we were all told to jump at a designated time to nudge the Earth so we wouldn’t collide with a huge asteroid or something? Did it work?
I was one of these people – constantly searching for a good deal for our next holiday. I could’ve just been back from a holiday but it didn’t matter. Dreaming of blue waters, sunshine, cocktails and colourful boats was paramount to make it through oodles of emails and mundane ‘edit, print & staple’ tasks. I sat in the office overlooking Oxford Street in London and dreamt of backpacking to faraway places, just like everyone else. It’s funny, this human nature, isn’t it? Always wanting to be somewhere else, seeking, longing… Oxford St in London is a perfectly valid dream destination for someone who isn’t there.
After almost two months of travelling i can honestly say it’s not fun and games all the time. Sure, it seems awesome to not have to go to work every day and spend my time however i please, but that’s not the reality. However i please? Please. I’ve never been so tired! Being conscious is exhausting, i’ll have you know. The ‘regular’ working life includes an incredible amount of time we spend unconscious as we’ve worked out our basic behaviours (i.e. route to work) so that we wouldn’t have to waste energy every day to think about those things. As a result we have more energy left to spend on our hobbies and socialising. In modern society we usually will have too much energy left over which can cause different behavioural and cognitive issues (i.e. insomnia, substance abuse, depression).
Anyway, i digress.
I find myself being so tired, especially after we have travelled more intensely and changed location almost every day. My senses are so overstimulated from constantly taking in new information and processing it to make sense of every new environment we come across. Questions like Where is the bus/train/boat stop?, Can we buy a ticket on the bus/train/boat?, What time do people eat?, Are we allowed shoes in here?, Is it ok to use this bathroom?, Can we hold hands here?, Does anyone understand me?, Who can help us find something?, How is milk in Italian?, Where can we do laundry? What do i have left to wear? Why is my damn backpack so heavy? and so on are constantly circling around in my head as we move from place to place so quickly.
Secondly, travelling with the person you love is a great idea and i thoroughly recommend it to everyone. Exploring and making memories together, what can go wrong? The truth is, we’re both going through the same process of adjusting to a new lifestyle, we’re spending more time together (read: in each others’ faces) so it can be challenging at times to express one’s need for solitude. We don’t want to hurt the other with saying ‘i need some time away from you’ even if it’s exactly what we need. Separateness is as important as togetherness and in a relationship everything should be in balance. Homeostasis. Think about it – how can you develop as an individual if you don’t allow yourself the chance to be an individual?
Travelling the world will quickly help you realise your fears. There’s no buffer of ‘everyday’ distracting us – it’ll all be laid out in front of you. And it will be painful, realising your own boundaries.
I don’t think i’m ‘the best traveller’. I have my limits and fears, which hold me back from doing fun things sometimes. I’ve started to wonder, however, where these limits come from. Who set them? When? I’m going through a huge belief system rehaul and in some odd way i’m enjoying it.