Wherever you go, there you are

“The person you are matters more than the place to which you go;”
– Seneca, “Moral letters to Lucilius”

There is a lot of travel out there that is all about escape rather than travel with purpose. It is a denial of the life you are living and attempt to “get away”. This kind of travel leaves you dreading the return home. And while a good travel experience should leave you sad to say farewell, it should also leave you changed in a way that makes the return journey one that you welcome. Because you can take the things you learned while you were away and apply them in your life.

I love my journeys, but I also love coming home. Traveling makes me appreciate what I have more each time. It has taught me to be more forgiving of others, more patient when they do not understand me, and more willing to question snap judgements about people based on superficial labels. This means every time, I travel with purpose.

Climbing Kilimanjaro taught me to appreciate some very basic things, like the air that I breathe and the water that I drink.

Visiting Jordan for the first time showed me what it feels like to be truly welcomed by strangers I was taught were my enemies.

Exploring a small Russian village as an American teenager in the 90s impressed upon me the things that can be accomplished even when your supermarkets are not stocked with a million kinds of deodorant.

Moving to Australia taught me that English comes in many forms and ’Strayan is one of the more amusing ones to learn. Have you ever pashed while dinking? I never have, fair dinkum!

Travel done well brings more awareness to your soul and consciousness of what truly matters to you. The full quote from Seneca elaborates that the world is your oyster and it is up to you to ensure your mind can travel freely.

The person you are matters more than the place to which you go; for that reason we should not make the mind a bondsman to any one place. Live in this belief: “I am not born for any one corner of the universe; this whole world is my country.”

– Seneca, “Moral letters to Lucilius”