Travel won’t fulfil your life
For the last two years, I believed that traveling will fulfill my life and provide me with a sense of happiness simply because of what travel bloggers and influencers portray to a wide audience but when I started traveling myself, it did not do any of the two things I mentioned. Here’s why:
Most influential bloggers I follow spoke about quitting their jobs and buying a ticket to an amazing destination or left school to pursue a traveling dream. It sounds so exciting and awe-inspiring that at some stage in my life, I thought about leaving my jobs too; chasing after that happiness. But as I began traveling in and around my city as well as around South Africa (overseas plans will come soon), I began getting a sense that traveling is not about running after happiness and fulfilling my life.
As time went by and my traveling plans grew big, the ‘bucket list’ started sprawling out of control with unrealistic goals. Thinking that if I create these bucket lists and start ticking it off to reach an unreachable dream will only set one up for disappointment; chasing something you can’t get. The thing with these lists is that it will never be enough. We created an expectation of what that experience is going to be like. We believe that proving our worth for ticking off areas within human-made borders will make us happy.
It felt like I was let down by the perception of what travel was supposed to be like. Where is my fulfillment of happiness? Why do I not feel whole? These were some of the many questions I started asking myself.
It’s then that I realized I’m traveling for all the wrong reasons. As if traveling will remove my problems and satisfy my need to be radiant and joyous. Travel is life and unfortunately, your problems will travel with you no matter where you are in the world. I still have to come back home having to pay off the student loan lingering behind my name, the bills and my issues.
Here’s the thing: you can’t buy happiness. Social media creates this illusion that people who travel are constantly untroubled and carefree based on the images we post of beautiful destinations, super cool activities and, amazing cuisines; thinking we’ll be blissful if you travel to that destination or try out that food only to be let down.
Travel allowed me to have actual human connections and connect with people on an emotional level, something that I never started off with. Why? I was chasing after the perfect image to post; making people believe that if you visit that town, it will make you happy.
Travel allowed me to understand the way people live in that town. Learn more about their history and culture and, enjoy my hospitalities company. I travel to escape the busy city life, escape my jobs for a few hours, escape my surroundings and, be able to ask questions rather than to find answers.
I truly believe I’m part of the problem. We’ve been taught that we should only promote the best of us, not the ugly and it’s difficult to find the right balance. Till this day I’m still struggling to find a way that helps promote travel as a path and not a destination. I created my blog to help people open their minds and teach them more about the places I visit. Not to be conceited and promote that travel should be your ultimate happiness in life. I created my blog to discuss everyday issues I face daily because we’re not perfect and sometimes life truly does suck.
Travel became my journey to find questions. To find happiness within myself. We as a society need to stop trying to compare one another based off images; making people believe we living an awesome life. I do find myself in a tight spot. On one end, people seem to think that I’m happily based on an image but they don’t see that I’m just an ordinary person following a journey.
I believe we all need to stop yearning for the things we don’t have but be blessed with what we have already.
Until next time.
Lovely post Stephanie! And you are 100% spot on! It is easy to get caught up in someone else’s travel ideals/reason instead of focusing on your own; by writing posts like these you are doing an excellent job of promoting travel in the way YOU are experiencing it, and that in the end will inspire other as well. I believe the truth and calling a spade a spade is always better than sugar coating things! Again, lovely post!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. It means a lot. I really wanted to write what travel meant to me and why I’m doing it my way, even when it can be sometimes difficult. Thank you for your lovely words, Anja!