Travel blogging, travel journals, books, movies — all of them extol the benefits of traveling. They’re quick to tell you how much you benefit from it and why everyone should do it, but they only mention why the whole experience is worth it.
No one wants to talk about how travel is a struggle. There is nothing more difficult than removing yourself from the lives of your family and friends in order to travel. You have to be okay with people growing up and maybe growing away from you.
Travel requires you to open yourself to people, to places, and changes of heart. You are vulnerable while traveling in ways that you will never be while still at home. Actively searching for peace or companionship becomes a priority during travel. There isn’t just one person who you can turn to when you start feeling stretched beyond comprehension.
Weariness is inevitable. Discomfort is standard. Travel forces you to rely on yourself — to trust your actions and decisions and believe even when things seem to be falling apart. Flexibility is a must, because no day will ever be the same.
You will be tested mentally, physically, and emotionally, but the end result is a person that can weather uncertainty and displacement. That skill is priceless. Your heart and mind will be receptive to so much more than it used to be.
The universe will appear even larger than when you began. But instead of taking that fact as disconcerting, you will find it comforting.
We are all small pieces of the universe. Travel allows you to see your place — your inherent inconsequential existence — and helps you accept it. You begin to understand that your mistakes are not the end of the world; they’re just the beginning of another path.
Italian poet Cesare Pavese said, “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and 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 trending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
Reach the blogger at Stephanie.Tate@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @StephanieITA