As I look out of the trains window at everything passing me by with music sculpting the landscape of my mind, thoughts on life and it’s journey repeat over and over in my head, unescapable.
Train and bus journeys tend to bring out my deep thoughts like an avalanche, lost in time.
Part of this fantasy reality is all about where life is going. Well at least that’s what I’m thinking while writing this on the train.
Figured I would pour my thoughts out in the moment as it happens you know, real time. So many times when writing it’s days, sometimes weeks, months even, until what was wanted to be written is done. I have posts I have thought of from 2 years ago still to do.
I really try to include the reader in what I am doing, kind of like a mind-meld a.k.a. Spock from Star Trek.
I like to ask questions because although you may be curious to read about my ramblings, I am also curious to know how you are all thinking.
Drifting deep into thoughts about the journey in life, and curious about everyone else’s.
The journey that you have already taken and where you think it’s going next. Where you dream your life will take you.
Ah that’s it. Dreams. What you want out of life. Sometimes unattainable. Fuck most times unattainable.
Yet you still have to try to reach at least some form of what you wanted out of life, right?
One of my favourite movie quotes comes from the film Bladerunner.
(Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it).
Rutger Hauer at the end of the movie is dying and starts talking about some of the amazing things he’s seen in life. At the end he says:
“All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain”.
So true. This life is so brief, and the older you get it seems to fly by so much faster. It’s been said, and can sound overstated but you have to “Seize the day”, so to speak.
How travel changes you.
One of the biggest decisions in my life was when I was 20 and made up my mind to go on a few months backpacking trip to Egypt.
It opened my mind so much by seeing and living in a new culture. I got addicted to that feeling.
That feeling that kept me going all these long years to see and experience more.
I grew up travelling as any long term readers of my blog may know, so I was used to moving around. But that was childhood memories.
As an adult you can comprehend more of what you are seeing, obviously. Learn more. Although maybe through slightly jaded eyes, rather than the childlike innocence of wonder.
I was fascinated about how much I still didn’t know about the world. Going from the Middle East to Asia was a great culture shock.
And the more I travelled the more culture shocks were had.
It was at this point that going back to a normal life in England was far from my mind. Any traveller knows that feeling very well.
It doesn’t have to be long term travellers either. Just visiting new places for a week here, and a week there, will open your mind to the world.
The thing that travel changed in me (apart from learning more about the world) is that there are so many opportunities out there that I never realised possible.
I don’t have any education or real experience in anything and yet I managed to keep on travelling finding new things to do.
You will probably find out something about yourself you didn’t know.
Travel can bring out the best and worst in you.
One of the best is adapting to new situations with a smile on your face and saying “Fuck it”. One of the worst is not smiling and wondering what the fuck you are doing there.
Well there are a lot more best and worst situations obviously, these are just 2 that spring to mind.
One of the things travel taught me more was humility and humour.
I find myself laughing more and more at stupid shit happening around that may make others cry. The more you travel the more you learn to adapt and understand to just go with the flow.
Bus broken down in the middle of nowhere on a rocky backroad somewhere in Africa – just smile and laugh. What else can you do.
Travelling through poor neighbourhoods in 3rd word countries will change the way you think when back in 1st world countries. All those things you thought were small problems will not seem so bad anymore.
Travel puts things into perspective.
Some people travel because they are unsure what to do in life and are looking for answers, which is what I did.
Others are just looking for an escape but along the way find themselves changing.
Travel will change you for the better.
Many of the answers you have in life can be found on the road. Seeing the new cultures and how people interact with each other.
We’re all the same.
For the many heading home after a trip it can be strange settling into their old lives again, as the wanderlust to explore more of the world will be making them restless.
You may also feel a bit of detachment from people you know for a long time that maybe don’t travel so much.
For others it can be a relief getting home after so long away. The familiar comforts of their own bed, friends, family, routine etc. But travel will still be in their minds.
It changes something inside you.
We’re all nomads.
I know it sounds cheesy to say “We’re all nomads”, but it’s true. At heart at least.
I read an article a year ago about how some people may have a gene that makes you want to travel, going back to our days as nomads. I actually left a comment on that post and my comment went a little viral along with the post, always fun when that happens. Hello readers that may have found me through that comment 🙂
Anyway back to the point at hand.
Yes we’re all nomads inside, as that’s what all humans used to be. So maybe it’s just natural to have a sense of wanderlust, something that’s buried deep down inside us that says:
“Stop sitting in that fucking cubicle and get up and travel”!
But easier said than done in our modern age, with responsibilities and all. Which is why whatever escape we can get is good for us.
Which is maybe coming to a counter point to this post – maybe we changed ourselves, rather than travel changing us.
We’re born to wander, but modern society stops us. So when we travel and it starts to change our perceptions of the world, maybe it’s just turning us into our original primeval state.
Either way travel will change you and open your minds to this beautiful planet we live on, the realisation that through all cultures all of us are the same at heart, and coming “home” to family and friends is one of the best feelings in the world.
Be warned though – the wanderlust will most likely kick in hard after a few months back home, and the urge to travel will be hard to resist.
In a saying like Obi Wan Kanobi from Star Wars:
“Remember the wanderlust will be with you, always”.
Stay true to yourselves and safe and happy travels.
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