Why do I travel?
Simply because it makes me feel alive.
If I'm completely honest, perhaps there is often an element of running away from something, but ultimately I do it because it gives me a sense of euphoria that I cannot find elsewhere.
In fact, maybe I'm running toward something: new experiences, new friends, new plans. That would make more sense to me, but there is always going to be some running for as long as I have to live in a world with a 9-5 grind!
Does anyone actually understand that feeling? Do you know what I am talking about?
Perhaps the more relatable answer to my original question - why I travel, is: to see the world, learn about life and cultures elsewhere, to take a break. But those things are just on the surface.
Deeper down, I am looking for something. What is it? Will I find it? And, when will that be?
I'm looking for happiness. There, I said it.
At the end of 2012 I quit my job. At the beginning of 2013 I rented out my home and left my life as I knew it, behind.
All for the pursuit of happiness.
Did I find it? No, not yet.
I thought I could just continue to extend my trip until I felt fulfilled (or I ran out of money). 3 months became 6 months, and it soon became a year since I first made the decision to pack up and go.
Do I think travel can cure whatever ails your heart, mind or life generally? I've come to realise that many people do believe it does, and that maybe that stems partly from so many travel writers telling their stories and sharing their experiences with a sugar coating.
Travelling IS great, but as I have allured to in past posts, it isn't always that way.
Travelling long term isn't easy. You're on the road constantly and there are times when it is exhausting just deciding where to go next.
What travel can do is give you the space to see inside yourself, and determine if it does really make you happy.
I took the chance to escape the bonds of life. And, I had hoped above all else, that it would help me determine what I needed to do to find happiness with or without travel.
It is only now that I am starting to gain an understanding of myself.
And this is why I have found myself back in the UK, taking some time out and re-grounding myself for a while.
This may seem surprising, but I've travelled extensively before whilst working full time and will continue somehow doing exactly that.
Tomorrow is a new beginning and a new journey for me. But working 9 to 5 doesn't mean the blog posts will stop, as I have plenty more to share with you from my travels, and from being back home in the UK too.