I dont have enough holidays saved up yet. I think I’ll have a break around Christmas, or maybe my birthday next year
This post is for all the people who work hard, dreaming of that faraway one-or-two-week holiday.
For the parents who are juggling everything to make that annual school holiday trip to the nearest beachside town happen.
For the mortgage folks who one day, when and only when they pay off the castle, will go on that amazing trip of a lifetime.
For all the office workers whose hamstrings are fused into a sitting position from being bolted to their task chair.
You’re probably too busy to realise this, but you’ve been going about this all wrong.
You’re building up your holiday antici—————pation for months on end, trudging through ’til you make it ‘there’, only to have your idyllic dream bubble *pop* once you hit home again.
‘That holiday was great, but it was way too short’. I bet you’ve said before… because it’s TRUE!
Travel is so important for your health, your relationships, and for your growth. It’s not a luxury at all. It is critical to your emotional, social, mental and physical wellbeing.
You owe it to yourself to wander far and wander often…
Why travel is important
In another post coming soon, I list 10 Benefits of Travelling, which might go far in helping you finally push that ‘BOOK NOW’ button and jump on that journey. Read it later on that plane, train, boat or camel. Here, I write more broadly about Travel’s importance, why it should be prioritised. It’s the ‘Step Back and Assess your Life’ bit that I’m talking about here.
Here are 5 reasons why travel is important to living well:
1. Time is mercilessly short
Not to be harsh, but You only have a certain amount of time on Earth. This glorious, living, breathing Mother Earth that you were born into, and will sustain you until you pass is truly magical. There’s nothing like her in all the universes and all eternity. Do you fancy seeing as much of the world as you can before you fall off this mortal coil?
Yes? Ok then, let’s crunch numbers, let’s see when you have ‘leave’:
If you live until 80 years old, you’ll have a grand total of 29,200 days to use wisely. Let’s subtract 40 years of full-time work, and childhood when you can’t organise your own travel. Now we’re down to 10,000 days, over 80 years, give it take.
10,000 days sounds kinda ok, but once you remove longer work hours, longer careers, delayed retirements, study, caring for children and elders, a third gone for sleep, perhaps not making 80, and all other types of life situations, you really don’t have much time to explore Mama Earth – so you need to prioritise it or it won’t happen.
2. Because play is important, dagnammit!
We don’t play enough. We don’t spend near enough time in ‘flow’, just doing what we like, in our own world.
When’s the last time you experienced wonderment or learnt something that completely blew your mind?
As we grow into adults we lose our ability to just ‘be’, and that is probably the largest tragedy that faces us as we mature. What we gain in purpose and status, we lose in curiosity of the world around us. As soon as we gain autonomy and freedom, we squander it on working endlessly.
When you were little, you probably pondered on why the sky was blue and why rocks were brown. Did you know that in other parts of the world, the sky is fluoro green and the rocks are rainbow coloured? Don’t believe me?! Travel then (here and here)! You’ll see.
They don’t call it ‘unadulterated joy’ for nothing. We’ve got to get rid of our adulting sometimes! Our inner child never really dies but we sure do a great job at stomping on that poor little kidspirit … just so we have more time to knock more off the ‘to-do’ list.
It’s seriously fucked up, isn’t it?
3. The Meaning Of Life is to Connect
You know it, I know it: We are social creatures. So, how can you expect to be open to new social experiences with new people, new communities and new cultures, if you’re stuck in a loop between home and work for years on end, physically sectioned off from the outside world?
Surely you’re missing out on something core to your social growth?
We crave connection, no matter how introverted we are. This connection can be between you and others, or you and the Earth, preferably both! I’m an introvert, but travel has gifted me with experiences that have catapulted my social skills and network into the stratosphere.
Isolation, repetition and stagnation are toxins. We should avoid them at all costs.
Being proactive in changing your environment regularly…by wandering…will help you ‘plug back in’ to humanity. Interesting and inspiring people will miss you, because they’ve connected with you. Alternatively, think of who’ll miss you at work if you stay there forever, never travelling. Maybe Paul from Sales, but hey…. c’mon.
4. You can die of boredom
THIS ONE IS FACT. Click this link here to read about it.
If you don’t have time to read the link, here’s a sophisticated diagram I drew that summarises how boredom can lead to death. You’ve been warned.
5. No-one is forcing you to work without a break until you die
Who is really pulling the strings in your life? You or your work?
Do you think, or do you know, that you can’t go for a three-day break next month?
Does taking a break make you feel any less than the dedicated worker/parent/partner that you are?
I hope you can feel me tapping your forehead while I ask this, because SURPRISE, all these thoughts are in your own head. Not the boss, not our coworkers, family, friends or partners, it’s just in YOU. They are assumptions that are getting in the way of your freedom. This is problem-based thinking, not solutions-based thinking.
Your travel experiences are critical because they make you a better, calmer, and more knowledgeable worker, spouse, parent and friend.
I ask you to challenge your assumptions in the simplest of ways. JUST ASK. Even if you think you know what others will think of you travelling, get clear on it anyway, and ASK.
Repeat after me:
“Boss, I really do need a break to clear my mind. It’s important. How about the second week of next month? Can we make that work?”
Communicating your need for travel with your partner, family and friends should be easy. If you have issues with doing this, I’d like to learn more about why. Those close to you should support you in your need to occasionally wander, so resistance could be a sign of something else.
If you prioritise travelling as the critical thing it is, you’ll be surprised at what happens.
Some mantras to remember
Repeat these to yourself until you find yourself on the plane, train, camel 😉 :
I am an employee, not a volunteer. I am paid to work certain hours. I am not paid to surrender my life to my job.
I am a complete, adult human being with a burning need to explore, learn and grow. Travel will satisfy these needs.
Travel is change. Change is good.
My eyes must open to the beauty of the world. My soul must open to the love in the world.