What Travel Taught Me About Time
Take your time to hurry up.
The reality of today's world is that everyone is in a hurry. You're in a hurry to get to work, to get home, eat dinner, then sleep so you can hurry and wake up. You repeat this pattern of wishing each day away until you get to the weekend so you can hurry and have fun or relax. No wonder we feel like our adult lives have disappeared right before our eyes. We've been anticipating a moment that comes and goes before we even got to enjoy it.
Remember as a child how long each year seemed? Everything was curious and slow paced as you learned about the world and what it's like being human. My experience with travel has reopened my eyes to the beauty of this concept - a childlike state of mind.
As we age we begin to anticipate what's next. There is always a point or place in time we are seeking. When we graduate high school we finally get the "freedom" of adulthood. Joke was on us. You learn the valuable lesson that with freedom comes great sacrifice and hard work. So, you fall into the trap of always wanting to be where you will finally have it made - the place where all of this hard work pays off. Sadly, this is how life passes so many people by. We're constantly wishing the present away so we can be where life begins. But all along this is life. Every debt you owe, every painful semester at school, and every relationship you create and end is life. From day one until we pass, every ounce of everything you do is your life.
Don't let time trap you.
Since I began traveling last year I realized how I myself had fallen for the "life begins when" trap. I carried thoughts that once I traveled to Europe, then I'll be where I want to be. Once I make this amount of money per month, then I'll be where I want to be. Once I meet Mr. Perfect, then life will be complete. It's actually very simple - life is every single moment - good and bad, happy or sad - and that's all it is. I find when you travel you realize how precious each moment is.
You sometimes meet someone you connect with so well but only share 12 hours or less with, yet somehow they've changed the way you view everything. You realize how meaningful a relationship can be and how quickly it can end. You understand the world continues to happen no matter where you are, and that you my friend, are a just a speck within it. Not to imply you're not a meaningful part of the bigger picture because you are, but the world never revolved around only you. Travel offers experiences that can be quick, yet deeper which is a concept I hadn't faced until I ventured out of my daily life.
Travel changes your perception of time - especially extended travel. If you ever get the chance to leave your life behind for a month or more, take it. You learn how to take your time with certain things and appreciate them more. Seeing incredible new cities and landscapes reawakens the wonder in you. Seeing anything for the first time reminds you of an innocent curiosity again, and you can't help but just smile and admire the scenery. When you take some time out of your ordinary life to experience a different way of life you can truly compare the two and see what needs adjusting. The concept that everything is relative is a theory I've learned to live by.
Every moment counts.
I realized how important my life is at home in-between my traveling. My life at home is what allows me the life I get to live while I'm on the road. I don't think one part is more important than the other, but the balance of the two is something I am extremely grateful to have and be able to share with the world. Take a moment to appreciate your job because it provides the life you are living - and if you aren't happy with the life you are living, then you may need to reconsider everything (including your job.) There are times of struggle in life, there are jobs we all have to work that we dislike, but as long as you're working towards your life's ambition, just try to make light of the negative aspects. If negativity can't hold you down, you can become an unstoppable force of nature.
Enjoy the smell of your coffee in the morning, appreciate each bite of food you eat, and take a look around once in a while. I suppose the lesson I truly learned about time from traveling is that our time here isn't long. It's a blink of an eye through the lens of our universe. If you have a goal, make it happen - and try to enjoy the time it takes to get there. Do whatever you have to do to make sure your hunger and thirst for life are being quenched. You never know where you'll end up nor with whom. After all, it's not about the destination, it's about enjoying the journey. #cliché #stilltrue
I've made it back stateside after my month long trip abroad. I'm slowly yet surely settling back into reality. Stay tuned for more of my blogs as I go deeper into how to achieve your goals and how to plan for an extended trip abroad. Cheers!
Upcoming travel: Cali coast road trip September 1st, 2016 // Japan October, 2016