Travel induced madness. Too much of a good thing.
You may have read the title and expected a piece of writing filled with crazy, hilarious, outrageous travel stories. And while I do have my fair share of those, sadly this is not what I shall be discussing today. Sometime in the last 6 months of my 18 month journey living out of a backpack I seem to have gone (now please excuse the French) a little bat-shit-crazy. At first the cause was a mystery to me … I am travelling the world, I should be the happiest person alive. However what I have in fact learnt is that you can definitely have far too much of a good thing. So here I stand, some 547 days into my wondrous journey around the world and into myself only to find I have gone completely bonkers.
The most common assumption made about myself by others is that I am some free-spirited, brave and independent adventurer who likes the mess of a chaotic, challenging and nomadic lifestyle. However this couldn’t be any further from the truth. I am in fact a very driven, goal focused, lover of routine who has found herself living like a hobo for the past 18 months. My achievements now are based on how many ‘likes’ I get on Instagram and the only routine I have is that I will inevitably have to pack up all my worldly belongings and move them to the next location each day. And it is this I believe that has pushed me over the edge.
Imagine your favorite food. Say perhaps, chocolate cake. Now imagine eating chocolate cake for every meal of the day. At first, this might seem enjoyable however after 18 months of looking, smelling and worse still tasting chocolate cake you despise it so much you might just kill the next person who serves you chocolate cake. Replace the words chocolate cake with ‘travel’ and you might get a small insight into how much I am blatantly over travelling. Perhaps the highlight of my craziness was when I convinced myself that one of my best friends did not want me visiting her and moved myself into one of the dodgiest hotels in Dubai instead of staying in her 5-star luxury apartment building. Or perhaps it’s been one of the 30 times I have found myself crying hysterically like a child over my boyfriend saying something I have taken as offensive because I have somehow morphed into the most sensitive person on earth. I recently cried whilst camping because I wasn’t going to get a shower that day. I shit you not, a grown woman crying over a shower. I tell you – this travel business has broken me.
Steve Jobs once said;
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
This is one of my favorite quotes to live by yet I have found myself continuing down the path of unhappiness because I have been too weak to stop. Sometimes if you live in your misery for too long you start to find comfort in it, and that’s when you are really in trouble. You can forget what it feels like to be really happy and start to let fear get in the way of your ability to make the necessary changes. So while I very stupidly hike to the top of a mountain dreaming about having my own home, I have very much failed to put a stop to a lifestyle that hasn’t made me happy for the good part of 6 months. But what has come out of all of this is one of the greatest life lessons I may ever learn, being free is not necessarily about having no roots.
I have been working towards a more detached lifestyle for some time, believing that this is the key to freedom. What I now know is that freedom has nothing to do with a lack of responsibility. Freedom can be found in having a place to come back to and call home or pursuing any of your life amibitions without being ruled by fear. Freedom is instead not the absence of responsibilities but the ability to make the choices in your life that bring you the greatest happiness.
So with this in mind I have made a decision that would have shocked even myself some 18 months ago.
It’s time to make Melbourne my home.