What if we don’t do it when we need to? What if we let our responsibilities get the better of us, and silence our yearning to travel with excuses like, “I don’t have enough money”, “I’m just getting started in my career”, my “Name significant other or parent here” would never let me? There are tons of reasons NOT to travel, and frankly, only a few rational and valid reasons to do so.
I was talking to my grandpa this morning about the places he’s seen. When he was younger, he was sent all over the Soviet Union and Mongolia for work. To reiterate, none of those trips were for pleasure, and I got the sense he didn’t find them very pleasurable either. When I asked him whether he’d ever dreamed of travelling elsewhere (assuming of course, this was after the Soviet Union collapse), he said “sure”. When I followed up with, “Well, what about now? What about after you’ve got your pension?”
“Nah,” he said. “I’ve lost the desire to.”
This conversation really frightened me. Because for a long time, I was actually placating myself, pacifying my own fear of dying before I saw the world, by reminding myself that that was what retirement was for. Seeing places while collecting government checks. The reality, it seems, is bleaker. If you don’t set a precedent for travel early on, exercising your inner adventurer, when the time comes that your excuses become irrelevant, your lack of will and wanderlust will stop you on their own. You’ll have grown tired, and accustomed to a routine. And your ambition will have dissipated.
So I implore you, as I search it within myself, to find the strength that lets you see the world without being silenced.