October 20th, 2017
Everyone travels differently, at their own pace. Everyone has different energy levels. This is just one persepective. I myself am guilty of too often living anywhere but right now.
I've often heard it said that the journey matters more than the destination.
Corporate travel companies and nomadic hippies have joined forces to spread memes, preaching that having less material items and more stamps in your passport is the key to happiness.
They make a virtue of restlessness.
But after speaking to travellers in hostels something became clear to me: Too many of these people are either thinking about their next destination or bragging about their past adventures. This means they are failing to live in the present.
A few years ago, a British man visited all 201 countries in just under 4 years. This is an average of almost exactly 7 days spent in each country.
Now I'm not saying he didn't experience a lot. But that's the problem.
The key to happiness is well known and the answer isn't quantity.
By valuing quantity over quality, travellers are missing out on why they went travelling in the first place. Frantic schedules leave no time to really see the place you visit. A quick photograph uploaded to Instagram won't cut it.
The satisfaction gained from a memory, will never be as strong as the satisfaction of an experience. What's more, a photograph isn't even a real memory. Often we have forgotten the place we visited and all we have is the photograph which manufactures a memory. At that point, all you're experiencing a snapshot of a place you might as well have never been to.
A restless traveller's mind is elsewhere: looking at a landscape through a camera lens, thinking about where this photo will be uploaded and what people will think, looking forward to the dopamine hit of receiving a like, trying to look good in this selfie, worrying if they've left enough time to get to the airport and onto the next experience.
Maybe it's time to stop journeying and instead enjoy the destination.
In the words of Ferris Bueller: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
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