For many, traveling is the ultimate freedom. A lot of backpackers, young and old, schedule their own itinerary, have little to no responsibility, and can act however they want when meeting strangers. As someone who tries to visit at least one new region a year, this is what I miss the most when I come back home.
But if we have a longing for this freedom once we come back home, we never truly leave the place we visited, and that can take a toll on our professional and personal relationships.
When this happens we are not being present, and that is it is time to let go of that longing and truly come back home.
Every once in a while I will sit down and relax after a long day of work with a cold beer in my hand, and I will browse through my Facebook albums and think of all the people I met, the sights I saw, and the crazy adventures I went on during my travels. Whenever I do this, I become overwhelmed with joy.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking I’m sleeping on a bunk bed in a Lithuanian hostel. Other times I will have memories of walking alone down a random Baltic or German neighborhood that could have either been reality or a dream.
When I am back in California, I will sometimes find myself daydreaming about having a pint of Guinness in Belfast, dancing in nightclub in Czech Republic, or walking along a Caribbean beach while enjoying the humidity. I fall victim to exactly what I am critiquing.
While daydreaming and longing to be back on the road less traveled are only a rare occurrence in myself, I’ve seen some of my friends and colleagues become inflicted with this plague. I’ve witnessed this especially with those who study abroad or stay in a place for longer than two months.
When we are no longer present in our relationships; our friends, family, and colleagues feel left out, ignored, or unworthy of our time.
It’s a wonderful feeling when I look back and recall so many great memories, but I also believe that it is much more beneficial to your health to be in the here and the now.
I encourage everyone to go out and explore the world, and they are more than free to put new memories into their mental piggy bank. I do it myself! But remember that if you have the privilege to travel, you most likely have a place called home. When we are back in said home, finding ourselves daydreaming about a spiritual experience in some far off, distant land; let us make an effort to bring balance back to our lives. That way, we can have a shared experience with our loved ones now – and another happy memory to store in that mental piggy bank.