I’ve had a lot of people ask me this question, and when a friend asked me today, I actually had a good answer that I thought would be nice to log here.
One big highlight of the trip so far, if I am being honest, is the old cliche: meeting someone and falling in love. But of course that’s not all, and here’s the other big highlight: the myriad of growth opportunities I’ve had. You must remember, I didn’t so much set out on this trip to have a big vacation. It was more like a grand experiment to see if life could be…. well, something different, I guess you could say. I wanted to see if my belief system about what day-to-day life had to be was a lie.
- The belief that I had to stay in my suburban apartment in Colorado.
- The belief that I had to work 40-60 hr weeks all the time so that I could save money to pursue the things I wanted to do.
- The belief that my business would fall apart if I wasn’t overseeing everything.
About six weeks before I left for France, I learned I had a deep-seated psychological condition of having low self-worth and no self-love. It manifested as codependency and is rooted in my childhood. So there I was, doing all this work on myself, and making leaps and bounds with my progress, while essentially living in the exact same external circumstances as before, and I wanted a shift. This, coupled with the curiosity if I could make it work, is what drove me to take the plunge.
And the entire trip has been chock-full of growth. Literally every place I’ve been since leaving Colorado in July has marked a stage of my personal development.
Traveling with no schedule and no end date is very liberating, but with that liberation comes a unique set of challenges. Without having somewhere to call home, it can be easy to feel isolated, and it can also be easy for some of my old codependent habits to resurface without me noticing, due to that desire we all have to belong. This is especially thrown into focus as I near the time when I will be going back home to get rid of all my crap and move out of my apartment, without having somewhere else that I am moving in to.
Additionally, when I am essentially “living the dream,” it makes it somewhat jarring when I find myself in states of feeling restless, lost, or unhappy. Because I’ll think to myself, “Shit, if I can be traveling the world and doing everything I want and still not feel fulfilled, then that means there’s more to fulfillment than simply doing the stuff you want to do. Which means that I have to, like, go inward for self-discovery and stuff.” So obviously, that experience heightens the importance of actively working to keep myself centered, and focus on living a full inner life founded in self-love and self-acceptance, which is exactly what my biggest emotional and psychological need is anyway.
So there’s the long answer. If you are not satisfied with it, you can choose from the list below of more “sound byte” sorts of things:
- The time where I went to a Bikram yoga class that was totally in Spanish
- The time where I got stranded in Paris in the middle of the night when the Metro was no longer running and had to figure out how to get back to my hostel
- The time when I hiked the Cinque Terre in Italy in the middle of the summer with a heat wave going on
- The time when I found myself on a boat, in Greece, with the friends of a woman whom I’d met only a month or two prior at a yoga retreat
- The time where I literally ran into a friend of mine, who I met in the Philippines, while walking into the Baron’s Court tube station in London, and wasn’t even surprised because these sorts of coincidences are just par for the course with this trip. He, however, had a right mind-fuck. (Is that how a British person would say that?)