When it's time to be anywhere-but-here
"January is interesting. I'm two weeks in and so far the predominant theme is "Departure". I've attended two funerals the past days. Then there are news of icons passing, friends relocating out of the city, others entering and leaving so so soon. I could have sulked. I may have sulked. But before I completely drown in my own sap, let this be a firm indication, aging heart, to get out there and get pulsing. It's time I take you out for a serious spin. You're not beating any younger.
If you feel like you seem to be always at the enduring end of all this leaving, maybe the time is never more telling for you to also get moving.
Kinesis is this year's resolution. I just booked my first solo out-of-RP retreat for Spring Equniox in March, and then some. I need this. There's so much unexhaled adventure in my chest. So many unfound pieces of me I know I haven't lost in the flood just yet. So immense the portion of seas and soil I have yet to attempt. And maybe, just maybe, someone to love halfway around it.
Come on, World. Whisk me away."
I had just posted these words on my Instagram. Some of my dear readers made the special effort of sending me a message to share how hugely relevant this is to them right now. Thank you if you're one of them and I'm really glad it resonates.
For some reason, it comforts me to remember that this was never just between me and myself.
It had me wondering though what could be the grounds from which this has become so synchronously true for all of us...
What do you think? Why has the need to get whisked away become stronger for you? Besides the existence of Pinterest being a sure way to pine for it, why — almost so suddenly and more desperately — do you, like me, want to be anywhere but here? Why, my less-traveled dears, does it seem like it's such a matter of life and death already to not leave?
While each of us have exclusive reasons for filling this void, when it comes to the common denominator, perhaps it boils down to these two things: transience and mobility. We are time-deficient things with feet. By default, we are to move and progress. Except we have also been conditioned to forget this. We have missed the world for our worldly priorities. We've allowed ourselves to feel anything but in awe of everything. We have forgotten to be a small fish in a big sea and feel glad about it. We've become so comfortable being big in small boxes that we ultimately stopped expanding, as what happens when you no longer have something to explore...
It peeves me to know this. This is why today, I wish to help you put your aliveness on top of your list by reminding you that you have a life outside, and any time from now could be the best time to see it. I am never sure. And that's the point. But here's how you really know:
1. When you've been busier than God.
Or have been trying to. I know that the world is worth saving, and in between you're still finishing your masterpiece and can't afford to have any further backlogs than the immensity of what you already have and all... but, hey, even God forgot his own backlog for a bit. Even then the world still wasn't perfect and is a work in progress up to this day.
I understand that travelling can sometimes feel like wasting time but in reality we are, at any given moment, running out of it. So let's start checking this rigid attitude we have towards our work we so often mistaken for just-being-the-Girlbosses-that-we-are, because I learned the bloody way that being the CEO of your life also means treating yourself as its best employee. Give her the day-off that she so rightly deserves. The best of you is needed.
2. When most of your greatest excursions are still imagined (or Google-d).
I just chanced upon the definition of the word "vicarious" a month ago:
Experienced or felt by watching, hearing about, or reading about someone else rather than by doing something yourself.
Yay for new word... and ouch! If you're a romantic, then it's likely movies, books, and images seem real enough for you. But you have a right to a 3D experience so why won't you exercise it? Don't get me wrong though, vicarious experiences are great. It doesn't mean that these mediums musn't succeed at displacing you, or you deprive yourself of allowing them to. It's just that there's a far different gratification in feeling the earth move under your feet and through your own skin instead of relying on pixels or print to get you out-of-here; and a deeper satisfaction still when you are finally convinced at the end of your trip that it is after all everything people say it to be, and more. There is no subsitute to first-hand experiences. There is still that inexhaustible magic you can only hack when you see things for yourself.
3. When YOU THINK YOU're already "TOO CREATIVE".
Unhinged from familiarity, nothing disproves your ego as blatantly as travelling.
Think about it, if anyone was ever too creative to travel, Chanel would've stayed put in Paris and looked no further for inspiration outside the already most beautiful place on earth. Jack Kerouac wouldn't have hit the road and wrote a book about his trip that would have Bob Dylan's life changed.
Creativity needs your unique perspective and travelling is one of the surest ways to enrich it. You're never too filled for anything else. This world is your fodder and you've barely scratched the surface.
4. When YOU're GETTING TOO COMFORTABLE.
I think we all want to be surprised more than we'd like to admit. Deep down, we are in dire need of things that can take our breath away, but stand ever far from the edge where the view is actually more magnificent.
Traveling puts you on that edge. It will make you feel uncomfortable enough so you start experiencing and realizing things that would otherwise never come to you if you had stayed in your comfort zone. I don't know about you but something about the things we discover in the throes of uncertainty that makes convenience not nearly as spectacular as the hard lessons we encounter in moments of struggle and distress.
With the discomfort, you also learn to be on your toes, to watch out for any literal or existential roadblocks that might surface along the away. It teaches you to do the work, to research, plan and prepare, and then to trust.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things—air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky—all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” ~ Cesare Pavese
5. When you'RE maKING EXcUSES MORE THAN YOU SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
"I don't have travel funds..."
"I can't leave my cats..."
"I'm not really the outgoing type..."
"No one might understand my weird accent..."
Assuming you already know that the cost of this is your own expansion, would these things still seem like an unresolvable issue? It pays to ask yourself then, how important is your growth and aliveness to you?
I hate to be the bearer of good news but I've been repeatedly told: Everything is figureoutable. At the end of the day, these excuses are just stories we tell ourselves. With growth on top of our priorities, problems are always opportunities. This is still apart from the fact that you live in 2016 where short-term rentals, homestays, piso fares are just some of the manifestations of travel democracy.
Seriously, don’t make me book you a flight already.
As additional resource, read: 16 ideas to fund your travels.
On a more gentle note, please remember who you are: