Travel – Chasing the Dream or a Run Away?



Chasing the dream. Let’s be honest – most of us wouldn’t consider the second option.

We want to learn about ourselves, face our fears, explore beautiful destinations, whether more or less known. We have the desire to experience something new and unknown, to meet new people and to be introduced to a different, more exciting lifestyle.

We want to have a taste of those inspiring travel Instagramer’s lives.
We want to travel.

Travel – Chasing the Dream or a Run Away?

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“Why do you keep trying to run away from everything..?

A question I was asked, by a very close person to my heart. A question that hit me like a ton of bricks.
My first thought was, of course along the lines of ‘what do you mean.’ But then I started thinking..

I always thought about wanting to travel – being able to discover the unknown and getting out of my comfort zone, but most importantly – to stop the monotony.

The routine that was slowly eating me alive.

I created a dream in my head that I wanted (needed) to follow.

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chasing the dream

Exactly 6 months ago, I picked up my 36 litre backpack and left for my biggest adventure yet.
I finally got the courage to do it.

In my mind I wasn’t ‘running away’, I was simply looking for something.

And I could not pin point what that thing was. As hard as I tried.

I had a 2 month return ticket home.
I had someone to go back to.

As the months were going past, I kept extending my ticket, that in the end became unused. I didn’t want to go back. Instead, I kept hopping from one place to the next on the other side of the world.

Something was keeping me here, or maybe – from going back.

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chasing the dream

We are currently going through a phase in society
that does not stop talking about travelling

 

How easy and simple it is to just do it.

What a great idea it is to drop everything and go – quit your job, leave everything behind and go chase your dreams. Because.. why not?

First of all – It’s great, don’t get me wrong. People are getting inspired to see beyond what they know.
All of the dreamy locations posted by travellers, all the beautiful beaches with white sands and the clearest & most turquoise waters.. who wouldn’t want that. This is the dream – and we want it.

But it’s also kind of misleading. Of course, it’s not that easy to just get up and leave. We make it look like it is, all those ‘how to quit your job and travel guides’ – they are great, but it takes time, preparation, savings and sh*t loads of courage.

How long can the dream be chased for, how long until we are fully satisfied with it?

Is it actually possible? Or in the end, do we need to figure out what it is exactly, what is the thing that made us want to leave in the first place. Usually, this means digging deep – as the reason on the surface is only the beginning.

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chasing the dreams

The Influence

 

All of the media influence created the perception in our minds of travel being all & only great things, without many ugly hiccups (Instagram.. ekhem).

Even if we are really happy with our lives, we cannot help but compare the lifestyles.

Who wouldn’t prefer to be at one of those stunning locations from that famous travel blogger’s recent photo “they’re living the dream, right?”

So, we begin to put all of the pieces together and build our own dream. Even if we have the perfect job, an amazing and loving boyfriend, great friends and family. We create a different, new perspective, maybe one that is based on all of the exciting stories we’ve read & the photographs we’ve seen.

And who are we kidding, deep down we strongly believe that the missing & empty part of our soul will be fulfilled and all of the worries or problems will magically solve themselves.

We start to see things we don’t like and little things become frustrating.
We daydream about going away extensively.

Our soul starts screaming to be free from the monotony.

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chasing the dream

Then some of us manage to have enough strength & courage to go ahead with it.
And We Leave

 

Every single cell in our body screams out of excitement and we’re also frightened about the unknown. The adrenaline rush is simply indescribable.

This is what we’ve wanted for so long. We’re finally doing it, we’re chasing that dream – even if we’re clueless to what it is exactly.

And so, this is where it starts – prepare for your life to be turned completely upside down.

In the end, it’s already a shocker that we just distanced ourselves from what we used to think we wanted a few years back.

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chasing the dream

Is this real?

 

We wonder why were we ever so scared to do what feels so perfectly natural right now.

Realising, that travel is exactly what we want to do. So the journey continues – visits to impressive places, countries we never thought our foot will step in, we meet new & inspiring people every single day.

Even if not everything goes to plan – we get ill or relationships back home start to suffer, it’s hard to stop and think clearly. But in the end, it’s still easier than being back in the routine.

We learn how to accept things as they are, how to concentrate on the better not worse, we learn to face our fears but also how to turn them into something much less frightening.

There is no responsibility, no worries, no problems and time is pretty non-existent right now. It’s perfect, even if it’s not.

We feel stronger and so much braver
We’re living that dream

But sooner or later, the time approaches and the bank account starts screaming for its food.
Sh**t.

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chasing the dream

Reality Check

 

There is a choice – go home or continue and try to support ourself financially.

The thought of going home scares the heck out of us. So, many stay.

We realise that of course, having no responsibilities is great, but sooner or later we need to go back to reality. Deep down however, we hope we can escape it. So, we start thinking of all kinds of ways to do just that.

Whether it’s teaching English, blogging or simply working in a bar – by that point we don’t really mind as long as we can carry on living this life and not going back.

Then, soon a worry throws itself at us.



A routine – smaller or bigger starts to create itself. We cannot be as careless as we were few weeks back when island hopping or visiting endless amount of temples in SE Asia.

We start missing the crazy night buses and cheap & shi**y accommodation. That point of our lives where time simply didn’t matter – whether a journey from A to B would take 2 or 20 hours, nobody cared because we were free.

We start to think about having to get up and go again sooner or later and keep chasing.

Then it kicks in again, is the routine going to become what I managed to escape from?

Is it possible to be free long term?

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chasing the dream

..Or Is Running Away Itself
The Dream That We Are Chasing?

 

We are travellers – our minds constantly wander, looking for new adventures.

We cannot sit in one place for too long because our feet start to itch unbearably. Whether it’s searching for something or running away.. by that point we don’t really care.

We need to keep moving.

So, can we ever find a balance between living the dream and supporting ourselves?

Or are we as travellers constantly running away? If a routine is what we wanted to leave behind – whether it’s work, a broken heart or an emptiness within ourselves.. can we ever have a lifestyle without it?

Can we find a routine that does not turn into a monotony? Or is there something that we’re missing?

Maybe this is the philosophy behind travel and chasing our dreams.
When does it stop, does it ever?

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“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.”

(Still, by far my favourite quote of all time)

In the end, no matter how educated we are, nothing will open our eyes as much as travel does.

Now I don’t mean chilling in posh resorts in Egypt or Mexico. I mean getting out of your comfort zone and getting to know the culture, the people and the lifestyle.

We realise how absolutely clueless we were before. We also realise that travel is what makes us happy and maybe we have to keep chasing until we find the place.

A place that will make us feel like we belong – every single part and cell of our body and mind were born to be there. Maybe that’s when everything falls into place and we find what we are deep down, looking for.

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So what keeps us away?

 

One of the things, is the realization of how much we have changed as a person – the experiences we’ve lived, the things we learned and did. We have a completely new set of eyes and our expectations & perceptions are nowhere close to what they were before.

All those changes – make it feel like we’ve been away for a lifetime. We fear about feeling like we don’t belong anymore, but did we ever in the first place?

People might struggle to understand us & feel confused about how can someone change so much in such a short period of time. They might also find it strange why we feel the need to go away once again.

I say, let’s keep exploring and whether it’s searching or running away – maybe it’s ok either way.

So, if for now, all we know is that travel makes us happy – we should just let it be, grab and hold on to it for as long as it’ll be.

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  • Wow, great article! There are definitely some things that are sacrificed while living abroad and I sometimes wonder when my wanderlust will finally wear off. At the same time, it’s such a big world out there to explore, and you’ve only got the one life. A friend of mine who I helped convince to come teach in Taiwan for a year later said to me, “Once you’ve done something like that, you realize how foolish it would have been to never take the plunge.” I think you’re correct that the ‘why’ doesn’t matter so much as the ‘how’. When I taught in Kuwait, I knew people who were interested in racking up the numbers of countries visited, taking photos and ticking off items on their bucket list. To me though, authentic local experiences that happen when you stay a little while in a place, absorb the culture, get off the beaten track and come to know the people are so much more valuable and enlightening. I feel that I have gained knowledge, empathy and awareness from nearly every travel episode I’ve undertaken. To Katie who posted below… definitely go for it! International schools are an awesome way to see the world (in my experience at least). Hope you make it happen… and soon! 😉

    • Thanks for this Toby! So true, especially the part with the ticking off countries.. just for the sake of a higher number. For me, it’s all about the experience as well and not the pure fact of just another tick – especially when you include the local food and the incredible people you meet along the way. x

  • Thanks for a great and personal post. I agree, travel is the dream but it is not so easy to quit everything and go! I am a primary teacher who is looking at international school teaching as a means to getting abroad! I admire those who quit everything and go for it – one day! 🙂

    • Katie, thank you for your comment!
      Teaching is actually a great way of travelling and making / saving some pennies 🙂 Whether working or volunteering – both are extremely rewarding! xx

  • The possibilities – we all dream for a reason;
    Every single person has a purpose – a meaning
    It’s up to you to seek it
    The sky’s a lot higher than the ceiling
    Yeah reach out grab it, the world is yours – have it
    Hold it in both hands, and mould it into your own planet
    Don’t panic, follow the stars
    Lead your hands and stamp – they can follow your path
    And if you want it then start
    Planning, when times get hard you feel like you can’t manage
    Remember who you are you can tackle any challenge
    You can be an acrobat, walking the tightrope
    What’s the worst that can happen? You can lose your balance; you die doing something that you love. Remember this xxx

  • I agree with the previous comment, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! I’m one of those people who thinks I’m actually running away although I keep telling myself I’m not. I’m just constantly looking for something more, something better and bigger that I just can’t seem to find at home. Needless to say, I haven’t yet found it. Sometimes I can be jealous of people my age (20) who are at home, going to school or working, completely satisfied with what they do and where they live and the people they surround themselves with, who don’t feel the need to travel and explore. But then I think about the amazing things these people are missing out on, and then my jealousy of them turns to excitement for myself. Does that make any sense at all?

    Thank you for sharing this well written piece!

    • Thank you so much for this Sophie! <3
      It's great that you are already exploring at that age, and its only normal that we doubt ourselves every now and then.
      I think we're so used to comparing everything, but remember that you might be craving a more exciting life for a reason 🙂
      I'd say carry on adventuring! it's the best thing I've ever decided to do 🙂 xx

  • I couldn’t have put it any better. It’s beautiful and so true!
    Crazy how we get so much stronger when we are out of the comfort zone..