I’m never bored. I don’t think one can be bored when they’re traveling — and isn’t everyone in this world traveling through their lives?
Recently I’ve been hit with a huge dose of wanderlust. I’ve been wanting to see the Milky Way while I lie on the ground in the middle of nowhere for camping. I’ve been missing the dry air and discomfort of airplanes. I’ve been missing the pure feeling of not knowing what will happen next, of wanting to not know everything that will happen in my day, because that’s what I love most about traveling.
When you travel, you’re allowing yourself to have everything unexpected thrown at you. When you’re camping, you don’t know exactly how the trail you’re hiking on will look like. The weather might change. It might be warmer than you thought, or so frigid that you’re scarred for the next few months by any kind of cold weather. You don’t know who you might meet while camping, or what. You’re reminded that while you’re just a temporary camper in this forest or desert or mountainous trail, there are animals and plants and other living creatures that call this beautiful place their home.
However, unlike the living creatures that live there, after spending time in a beautiful place, more often than not, I have to return home. Home, which is very much synonymous for a quotidian lifestyle. There is comfort in knowing that I can call a place home — a place I know I can always return to. Though routine and pre-planned schedules may become tediously boring when it is becomes the sole thing defining my days, I find that it anchors me to a familiar and comfortable place.
But when I spend too much time in this familiar, quotidian haze of getting up at the same time everyday, going to school Monday to Friday, planning how much time I allot for activities because I don’t want to waste any time… sometimes the desire to just become impulsive and travel and see the world invades my mind. Sometimes reading about a place isn’t enough. Sometimes, I just want to travel, right then and there.
And it’s in these times where I have to remind myself that I am traveling. Though flying overseas and experiencing a different part of the world can be so wonderfully satisfying and exhilarating, I realize that the word “traveling” doesn’t have to refer to the action of physically going from one place to another.
Traveling can mean entering into a place that you’ve never gone before, in discussion, conversation, drawing, reading, or music. Traveling is deciding to randomly take a walk around your neighborhood, by yourself, and noticing all these new things you’ve never payed attention to before because you were with someone else. Traveling is deciding to speak up for a topic you’re passionate about in class even your instincts tells you to sit off to the side and listen instead of talk.
I do think that traveling is just life in general. It’s the more daring and exciting and unexpected part of life. It’s taking risks and doing things that you normally wouldn’t do at the place you call home. I find that when I’m traveling to a place outside my home, especially someplace overseas, I dive down into this travel mentality — that I should and can do anything and everything, because who knows when I’ll travel there again? If I embarrass myself trying something new, I’ll never see these people again, and I can return home feeling more emboldened and more willing to try new things.
That’s the feeling I treasure when I travel.
I’m bolder, more dauntless. Everything around me seems to be an opportunity to learn something new, gain a new experience, or collect a new memory. And always, when I arrive back home and get sucked back to what I call my normal life —
Well, why can’t I keep the travel mentality with me at home? Why should this wonderful, venturesome feeling be whisked away from me once I step foot in the place where I spend the majority of my time in?
I love traveling, and I know that I cannot stay in one place for too long. I satisfy my wanderlust by reading and delving into the worlds authors create with words and stories that are pulled together in books. I write. I draw. I dream.
If you want to travel, then travel. Don’t wait for the next whole week off your school or work gives you to plan a long trip. You don’t need to go to a land hundreds of miles away on the other side of the world to say you’re traveling — you just need to be willing to let the feeling and mentality you get when you travel be a part of your thinking when you’re at home. If you’re at a grocery store in a foreign country, you might ask someone who looks local to offer suggestions on what you might buy. Why must it feel so daunting to do the same thing when you’re in your hometown?
It’s going to be more than a month before I have a week off where I can go camping. I love the traveling mentality, the same way I love being at home and having everything I need in one place. I used to think those two things were different, that they were like oil and water — they simply can’t mix.
But anything can happen if you have enough patience and passion and love and desire for it, and now it’s finally happening.
The two worlds are colliding.