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Why You Don’t Have To Travel To Find Yourself

There are countless inspirational quotes about traveling. There are even more poetic lines about loving who you are. For some reason, these two ideals of traveling the world and loving yourself have fused together and more people now think that traveling is the only way to discover your true self. I don’t know how we got to this point because for generations before our parents and our grandparents, traveling was so hard to do. People were born and then died in the same town they had always resided in. Some people go decades and lifetimes without ever leaving their comfort zone. Those people got along just fine, didn’t they?

By no means is traveling bad or something you should stop doing. I am all for seeing the world and am one of those people who empties the piggy bank each time an opportunity comes up to hop on a plane. Traveling enhances a person but if you think it is what you should be doing when you’re going through a tough time, I have to disagree.

We can move to a new state and dress up in different clothes and spend money to see things across the ocean but I don’t feel that it will create a new person. You travel and have a grand time but you go back eventually; you go back and your problems are still there. If you run away you haven’t solved anything or found any solution, you have just relocated it.

Finding yourself has to do with you and no one else.

When the scenery changes, you do have a rush of excitement and you open your eyes wider and you tell yourself you can face anything. But until you face those things, they won’t be solved. You can sugarcoat them and share only the good parts with your friends but you will still feel that pain and you will still feel lost. Looking around, seeing something new, it’s fun but it’s still you that looks at them.

Experiences will 100% shape how you act but how many people change their entire future plans based on those adventures? Some will only act on their inspirational Instagrams for a short period of time and some will just live it up, spending all their savings in one week, then come home and work until they have enough saved for their next trip.

One of the most inspiring books I have read was The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Yes, it’s a movie, but before that it was a bright green book and it made me feel understood. One of the many lines I still live by from Stephen Chbosky’s novel is this:

“That’s one of the problems with the world today, nobody knows who they are. Everyone is running around looking for an identity, or trying to borrow one only they don’t know it. They actually think they know who they are.”

Take it from a girl who has slowly moved further and further away from the root of her problems. I cry. I think it will get better the next time I go home. I tell myself leaving and getting out for a while will do me some good. But then I travel back to wherever my bed happens to be that year and the dust settles and I’m still battling what I’ve always been battling. Finding yourself happens little by little each day. Finding yourself happens over long periods of time and I don’t think you’re ever totally going to have it figured out.

Featured image via STIL on Unsplash



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