I’ve noticed a trend recently: When I’m close to leaving a place, I get this overwhelming feeling of loss. I don’t want to leave.
Maybe it’s the way I’m wired. I naturally get attached and connected to a place, through people.
The last week of my three months in New York, I relished every day – savouring every moment. Boarding that plane at JFK, I had a heavy heart.
The same thing happened in Austria. I quickly got attached to my friend’s family, who I was staying with for 12 weeks. I was with them for less than two weeks and that feeling came back.
It’s a familiar emotion, that cycle of travel. I leave a place I don’t want to, the loneliness creeps in for a few days, until I start to resettle. In the end, things always work out. I always reach that place of happiness again. But it comes in ebbs and flows.
Travel forces us to transform & increase our awareness
The old, the new. The hellos, the goodbyes. The comfort, the loneliness. The happiness, the sadness. There are two sides of travel.
Adapting to changing conditions helps us to understand our own reality. That’s one of the reasons why travel is enriching – it forces us to transform and increase dimension of our awareness. This growth happens in the confines of discomfort, frustration, and fear. We can use travel to break through old ways of being and recognise our own assumptions and barriers.
I’ve developed this fluid, not-much-bothers-me personality that can carry you through life. A life that requires us to constantly adapt and grow. I’ve let go of a lot of my anxiety. I’ve always been an overthinker. This characteristic has plagued my whole life. But pushing myself into new environments, I’ve learned to let go of the ‘what if’s and ‘shoulds.’ You see that, 95% of the time, those thoughts are just that – thoughts. They’re not reality, but just that annoying voice inside your head.
Think about your most memorable experience. I bet that there was a struggle involved in that experience. Without a bit of pain, there’s rarely payoff.
It’s easy to slip into monotony and routine. By exposing yourself to new environments, even when you don’t want to, will push forward those lessons and perspectives. Don’t fear the uncertainity. I sure don’t anymore – I thrive off it.
Now, I trust my gut. I’ve become my own teacher. Surviving during periods of loneliness and unfamiliarity helps me develop a thicker skin. And it’s in these moments where I truly discover the extent of my capabilities.
The world is a small place, at least this is what I’ve found. We all share the same aspirations: love, passion, protection, and happiness. So, go on, approach diversity in your life with excitement, not fear.