When I first announced that I wanted to travel, it was instantly assumed that I was off to ‘find myself.’
Whilst my decision to travel was more accurately just to see a bit more of the world (and of course to indulge in an awfully long holiday) I started to realise that, without necessarily meaning for it to happen, the finding myself bit just sort of came as part of the package.
Something tends to occur as a result of travelling, that I think explains a little more about what finding yourself REALLY means. But hopefully, doesn’t sound quite as wanky.
You see, what I think the finding yourself thing actually stems from, is essentially that you find a lot of time for just you and your own thoughts. (Terrifying I know.)
And that’s something you don’t get much time for in ‘real life.’
Cos’, compared to all the commotion of real life – the emails and appointments and meetings and phone calls and gossip and drama and family and friends and work and partners and cooking and cleaning and drinking and parties and gatherings and television and fashion and shopping and running and budgeting and driving and rushing – yeah, compared to all of that, when you step right out of all the crazy busy, your mind, not so surprisingly, just gets a whole lot quieter.
There’s all this room and time to think, about what you want, about who you actually are, about who or where you even want to be. (Argh, wanky alert.)
I think the best way to describe it is to imagine real life as being stuck in a big, busy, noisy, horn-blazing, light-flashing traffic jam, feeling tired and stressed and impatient and irritated. And to imagine travelling as like, all of a sudden, that traffic jam just disappears and simply leaves you with a few other merry little folk tootling on past and smiling at you as they go, and it’s so quiet that you have to shake your ears out to check you haven’t gone deaf.
Travelling is taking a time-out on crazy busy real life, to step back and take a look around at it, before you get swept away in the crowd.
It’s putting on the brakes, turning down the volume and clearing the fog, so you can focus on the map and check for certaint that you’re going in the right direction, without getting sworn at or beeped at or shouted at for stopping.
It’s just allowing yourself that rare time, away from the high-speed of ‘real life’, to figure out where you want to go next and to go at whatever pace you choose.
I guess I’m still on a little quest to ‘find myself’ (even though I really thought I’d know it ALL by now) but now I’ve had the time to work out what finding myself even means, well I’m bound to be a whole lot closer!
So go on, take a trip. Get out of the traffic jam for a moment. Consult the map to check your direction. And then tootle on at your own lovely little pace.
Are you in traffic jam or tootling mode? What has travel meant for you?
Little Red French