COFFEE CONVERSATIONS: I don't travel to escape work. I travel for myself.
In awe at the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia
While having a good bowl of ice cream, I overheard a group of millennials, who are probably the same age as me, talking – no, make that dreading over work while having dinner. They mused about how they hated their boss, being affected by a colleague who doesn’t mind being ‘used’, a colleague who ‘did not deserve’ a promotion, and how they can’t wait for their next great vacation to take a break from their sh*t called work.
Traveling is supposed to be a product of a happy life for it to be a happy experience- at least that’s what I’ve realized over a few travels I’ve had. I think it’s a sad thought that one will travel to escape work. It’s basically saying one wants to escape at least 70% of their life.
But you know, I was once like them too. I traveled a lot locally in my high school and college years to escape – every time I’d get burned out, I’d travel even if it’s just a short trip outside the city. Whenever I felt the burden of the academic life, I’d crave to travel; and it always brings me the fun I desire, that break that keeps me sane…only to find out that I’d be back to a life and the people I dislike in the blink of an eye. Traveling, in turn, gave me anxiety because it’s always so fun yet so short, and it always leaves me in a place that I’d always want to escape from; it became a summer fling that keeps on coming back only to keep me wanting more and leave me hurting over and over again.
One of the greatest advice I have ever received is to always make peace with any situation. Sure, work sucks, but it’s needed; the money you get from it, it’s your gasoline that lets you travel. So why hate it, one of the major sources of your happiness? Making peace with something is different from settling with something; there are non- negotiable things in life and one of which is work so make peace with it. You will definitely spend more of your life working than traveling (unless your work is travel- related, but still!) and it would be a very sad thought to be hating a majority of your life.
In 2015, while taking shelter from the intense Bangkok heat at one of the Prangs at Wat Pho, I had a realization: to say that one wants to escape work is to let go of all forms of control over self, emotion, and situation and I don’t want that; I can’t let work dictate my feelings, my attitude, and most of all, tamper the fun that comes with traveling.
Damn, never knew that a street side Pomegranate juice can deliver enlightenment on top of refreshment.
So I changed my mindset. I travel not because I hate my work nor I want to escape from it; I travel because I want to; because I enjoy it; because I want to put things into perspective; because I want to taste other local cuisines; because I want to experience other cultures; because I want to converse with strangers; because I want to see what other countries have to offer my enjoyment.
I travel for myself.
And when I go back, there’s work, another part of my life, my gasoline, a place where I exercise my expertise.
Now that thought gave me a sense of control over my life.
Now that made traveling worthwhile and happy.
Some say you only live once so travel while you can. I say you only live once so love your life as a whole- from the good things like traveling to the things that suck like work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.