When I was at the airport on Monday, three days ago, this realization hit me: I hadn’t been on a plane in over a year. It didn’t feel like it had been that long. All that meant was that I was long overdue for another adventure far from home, and I was about to go on one. Traveling, hiking, and adventure are all so important to me.
Sometimes it feels lonely. I am by myself on this trip, and that’s usually how I travel, on these wilder, longer trips. It takes a long time to drive or fly somewhere, and a lot of planning, and then when you do all of it without including anyone else, it just feels a bit lonely, almost wasteful, to not share the awesome experiences with others. Worse yet, when you get to the new place, you don’t know anyone there and have no connections.
I have walked about 10 miles a day since arriving in Austin, and that’s pretty typical of me when I travel somewhere new—gotta explore everywhere. My feet got mild blisters on the first day, and now they just kind of perpetually hurt. My legs are sore. But I don’t slow down. I don’t complain. I just keep adventuring.
Trips like this one where I’m visiting an awesome new place, or backpacking and roughing it outdoors, make you think more than usual and in different ways. That’s what makes traveling worthwhile. When you travel, you become mentally stronger and come to know yourself. It is an amazing, irreplaceable, invaluable experience. Only by creating new stories and going on adventures can we grow so exponentially. Despite the physical, financial, and emotional hardships, the experience of traveling is so rewarding.
Furthermore, traveling gives you perspective. If you have, for example, lived in a small rural town for your whole life, that becomes your entire world, and you won’t even be able to comprehend, or even be aware of, the fact that there are totally different places with different people and cultures and lifestyles. You become a more cultured, informed individual after going on a journey.
When you travel, it makes all your problems at home seem irrelevant. It’s a big wakeup call that says, “Hey! You’re just a tiny little blip in this world! So stop getting so caught up in things back home.” When you return home, you’ll be able to deal with old issues in a new way, because you’re a new person.
Traveling never stops providing these amazing feelings and insights. No matter how much you travel, it’s always good for you. It gives you a sense that your entire life has changed.
Tomorrow I’ll be back to writing more about Austin specifically. Get excited!