“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
I often meet travelers who are running away from life. From their boring stagnant jobs, from a divorce or bad breakup, or from a family they can’t stand to be around. Don’t get me wrong, I think that travel is quite a healthy way to run away from the real world for a while, from the stress of daily life as you figure out your next move. It teaches you to look inside of yourself and see what you truly want. It makes rethink how you should live your life and what makes you happy. It opens you up to new ideas, and creates opporutnies you never would have believed existsed. Yes, I believe travel is indeed a healthy form of real life avoidance, it just doesn’t happen to be the reason I travel.
I have been asked before if I am running away from something, taking off for such long periods of time (an interminable number of years at this point), and each and every time I am slightly shocked at the question. I have found a mountain town in Oregon where people ski, bike, kayak, and fish all in the same day, and have plenty ideas about building a small house and slowly accumulating a few animals and crops in order to live on a miniature farm. In fact, if you placed me in Bend, Oregon tomorrow morning I would start a whole new amazing life and love every minute about it. So no, I’m not running away from anything, in my mind, I’m simply running with my arms outstretched into life.
What better education is there than travel? What happier lifestyle than one on the road, meeting new people, learning new languages, and experiencing new cultures in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Why not really, why not travel the world and soak up every instant of the amazing adventure as it happens. I have plenty ambitions for later on, and contrary to popular belief, I do someday want somewhere besides my tent to call home… just not yet. Not while I am still enjoying my ultimate freedom, and certainly not when I have so many countries and mountain ranges floating around in my head begging to be cycled.
I’m not running away from life, I’m not escaping reality, or avoiding obligations. I’m simply creating a wonderful reality of my own, one I wouldn’t change for the world.