At the moment I’m overlooking the business district of Melbourne, while my fingertips glide through the keyboard of my laptop. I’m sitting in a chic little cafe in central business district, waiting to meet my friend for a lunch date. While I glance up and stare at all the rushing people in the busy street, I can only think of one thing. If I’ve ever left a part of me somewhere, it’s Australia. These past seven weeks in Australia I’ve probably experienced more than the whole three years I was “wasting” my time in uni.
I’ve been traveling around for three to four months now. This one quote about traveling popped up on my timeline the other day and in a weird way it touched me on a very very deep level, so I decided to dedicate a whole blogpost for it. It went something like this:
“People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, all life for happiness. I travel.”
Yeah. Read it through couple of times. What arises in your mind?
Do you consider your life exciting, are you filled with happiness and are you living in present every single moment? No? Well then, are you that person who always waits for that moment, goal or achievement, convinced that after the specific milestone you’ll be happy?
Ever accomplished anything in your life? I have! It truly feels like you are on top of the world! At least for a while. Maybe a moment, a day, maybe even a week. But after that, everything will even out back to the old, gray, mediocre.
I used to be that person. I thought that something I would achieve, own or have would make me happy someday. An accomplishment, a person, wealth. I never lived in present, I was either dreaming about future or thinking about the past. “If I will work this one more shift I will make a little bit more money for my goal and the real life that will start when I do the things I actually want to do.”
Back in my home country I used to be just a big ball of anxiety and that feeling never left me. I was anxious ALL THE TIME. It felt almost like anxiety defined me. I woke up anxious, I lived the day full of anxiety, I went to bed with anxiety. At some point I already thought it would be a chronic state for the rest of my life. That I could never be able chill or kick back again.
Doctors prescribed me medicine but what they should have prescribed me was an escape from my life. You know what have cured my anxiety probably, let’s say, 90 percent? Traveling. Now I wake up every morning without a worry. I couldn’t care less if I had the day ahead planned or if I would just wing it. When I go to a new place I have no clue of how to get to the final destination from the airport or where I will stay the next night, and it feels so freeing to not give a flying fuck! Nowadays I carefully choose the fucks that I give.
The best thing about traveling is that even when you use your wildest imagination or biggest caution, you still can’t predict the kind of situations you will end up in. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been in a situation where I just have to stop, look around and think: “what the actual fuck is happening?” The reason I travel is because every single day is an adventure. There is no such thing as comfort zone. Every day I find myself in new places, in new situations, with new people.
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to put things into perspective. In the grand scheme of life, is one mistake, loss or bad moment going to ruin absolutely everything? If you oversleep and miss your flight, is that the end of the world? If you lose material stuff, why does that affect your mind negatively? Why do we attach ourselves to things that in the end of the day have no value whatsoever?
I remember the days when missing an exam because of oversleeping felt like the end of the world. I would just lose my shit because I wanted to prove everyone around me. Now I might get into horrible fucked up situations and keep my cool 100%. How is that kind of mental shift possible in just a few months? It is called pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
It makes me shiver to think how simple and tunnel visioned I was before traveling. Biggest thing in my life was trying to balance between anxiety, work, career, therapy, exams and fitness, and I did not give any room to creative thinking, positive mindset or free spirit. Now my life is all about experiences, relationships, people, thoughts, ideas, creativity and personal growth.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to bash what people perceive “normal life”. I will eventually get my PhD, career and all, but while at it I can have as much fun as humanly possible. You can always try to better yourself, make a world better place by your own actions and be a loving and caring human being, but while at it: be selfish! In the end of the day, we are on this planet to satisfy our own human needs.
I used to have this weird altruistic mindset, that the more I suffer the better I’m to the world. That is where I went wrong. I can still enjoy life while trying to make it a better place. I don’t have to sacrifice my own needs to serve others. I used to just exist. Now I live. And I’m having a fucking blast while at it!
Nothing, absolutely nothing in your life will make you happy unless you feel it. How your life looks from the outside has nothing to do with how you feel on the inside. Everyone around me must have thought I had a great life. I had a lot of money to buy fancy things, followed vigorous training and nutrition regime, got good grades in uni, had a nice steady job whilst starting my own business… All at the age of 22. But was I happy? HELL NO. I was empty inside. Every morning I hated waking up to my life.
Now, everything I own is in a small duffel bag, I crash at my friend’s places, no idea where my next destination will be. I give my all to the experiences, moments and people around me. I can’t even put into words the moments I’ve lived. Those moments can only be experienced by living them. And damn I experience so much every single day. I used to have this urge to proof that I was living my life to the fullest. But when I actually do live my life to the fullest, there is no need to prove it to others. Because I don’t just exist anymore, I live.
And you know what. All I had to do was to have the courage and go.