The World Keeps Turning…
Travelling alone is something I would recommend to everyone, but you must be willing to confront some demons, to honestly and ruthlessly look inside yourself & find comfort in solitude. There is no way to describe the way your spirit evolves when you leave everything you know behind and force yourself to use your brain in a real capacity. When you’re out of your comfort zone, away from the people you love, you have only yourself to make things happen, to rely on, to praise when things work out and blame if things go wrong.
I don’t think you really forget about anything in life, until you have learnt from it what you need. I’m learning many important lessons, the most significant being that the world keeps turning, regardless of what you do. No matter where you are in the world, no matter what you’re doing, no matter who or where you were before. It doesn’t matter if you’re in pain or if you find things difficult. It doesn’t matter that you deserve more and it sure doesn’t matter that you have potential.
I’ve been travelling self-propelled for over 9 months now. Among many observations is a realisation of how much ‘stuff’ there is in life, and how easy it is to look at the world to blame for undesired results. It’s easy to fall into the habit of blame when there are people around you to blame. It’s easy not to look at yourself when there are others wanting your attention. When we have no-one to rely on but ourselves; a survival instinct encoded into our genes is ignited.
Trying not to live in the past has been my hardest lesson, accepting that the things I sometimes heart achingly miss no longer exist and never will, at least not in the same capacity. You must remain open to new people and experiences and trust they will come along, but only if you put yourself in the situations where they can. Until then, stimulate yourself, mentally, physically and creatively. Take risks, be spontaneous, break the mould. Open yourself to different stimuli to ignite different parts of yourself. If there’s nothing new coming into your life inevitably you hold onto past memories and experiences. Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to remember the past, almost impossible not to, but learn from it and move on. Don’t hold onto and pine for its return. Yes, it’s had a huge impact on who you are today and why you’re sitting where you are, but it no longer exists.
It’s hard letting go, I’m a self confessed brooder, perspective found in travelling is certainly helping. You’re forced to look at the bigger picture, stand apart from yourself and view your life through another’s eyes, your problems really aren’t very important. The ones who love you will always be there, the ones who don’t are irrelevant.
I’m trying to take myself away from the ‘stuff’, the things that would previously cause me great anxiety. I’ve cut myself off from those that demand attention and trying to focus on the one thing that essentially matters most, me!
I’m searching for answers… what makes me tick, happy, inspired, motivated, anxious, insecure etc… How can I become a better person, to myself, and the close people around me? Essentially, being humble & content without relying on external sources for confirmation. After years of willingly putting others first, it’s not easy to put the focus back. Being around people constantly gives you purpose in your day, something to look forward to, acts of selflessness. On the flip side, they provide things & people to blame for undesired results in your personal life. This kind of frustration found me becoming insecure, ‘needy’ and constantly searching for an agenda in everything and everyone. From a distance, I now see there never was one. The world isn’t against you and you must embrace its opportunities.
“What lies before us and what lies behind us is a tiny matter compared to what lies within us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
People seem to live their lives in constant pursuit of happiness from ‘things’, like somehow it will only be obtained once these things have been acquired: a house, money, ‘soul-mate’. I have believed this for 26 years. Yes, these things make people happy, but it wont be long before we want more: a bigger house, more money, married with children. It can be difficult not to feel guilty when focusing on the things that make you happy, we are selfish creatures. I think it’s so important, learning to love ourselves before we open up to love another.
It’s not always sunshine and happiness, ‘living the dream’ on the road. After a while, when the excitement of arriving in a new country, meeting new friends and experiences subside, it’s lonely. But be safe in the knowledge all self-doubt and loneliness experienced will soon be erased by the complete highs only obtained whilst travelling. Goodbyes are always difficult, but you know they are coming, perhaps why you become so close to new found international friends.
I’ve written this more for me than you. Organising thoughts, putting some theory into practice. Perhaps you might be able to take a small piece of this away with you and apply it to your own quest for self-improvement. The next time you’re sitting contemplating what it is you’re actually doing with your life, just remember: the world keeps turning, and you need to keep moving if you want to get somewhere; it’s your job to maintain momentum.