The other day I was feeling down. I was chatting with my mom, telling her I think I need to get out of Albany for a bit…try to grab on to some new energy, try for some new scenery. Not long-term, but maybe for a month or so. She asked me if I travel to escape. I said yeah, of course, isn’t that why most people travel? As an escape to their everyday lives? To try something new and exciting, to add a little spice?
She responded…yeah, but like, do you use it as an excuse to run away?
I didn’t answer. Probably because she had a point and it made me feel like a coward. I’ve been lucky enough that in my adult life, I’ve had the means to be able to travel to a lot of places, for long periods of time. Sure, I’ve used travel as a mechanism to deal with uncertainties in my life about where to go next and I’ve used it as an exploratory tool for finding out who I am and where I want to spend to my time and energy.
But running away? Have I been using it as a way to escape the large lingering questions in my life? Have I been using it as an avoidance tactic to facing some issues in my life head on?
I think I’ve come up with my answer to this question…it’s been eating at me for the past week. I’m writing this, because maybe you can relate.
Traveling and running away are synonymous in my life.
When I run away and get lost, I learn. I learn more about who I am as a human, how I handle situations of pressure and calmness. I learn tolerance for other mindsets, for other opinions, for other lifestyles. I learn new coping skills. I learn patience and how to prioritize. I learn the realities of the rich, and of the poor; of the privileged and those without opportunity.
The reality I live in when I’m traveling is the reality I want to live. I cannot live in “reality” the way most people live it. I travel to escape the societal reality of comfort, of predictability, of the 9-5 grind so to speak, because it stunts my mind. So, yes, indeed, I am using travel as an excuse to runaway…to run away from the life that was painted for me / expected of me since I was born, so I can live a life that’s far greater.
There’s no shame in the escape. co-mads is that escape. I want to provide you the same shelter that travel has provided me, as I continue learning about myself and my life’s purpose. I want to provide you the experiences that have changed the course of my life, so maybe they can change the course of yours. If you have the chance to run away, you should take it…it might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.