I’m often asked why I’m always running away.
Why don’t I just go back home and get a real job?
Why do I travel so much?
When I think about how to answer these questions I’m often at a loss for words.
Running away? Is it really running away from a place? Or is it having the ability to embrace change and listen to myself when I realize I could have more potential and feel happier somewhere else?
Why would someone force themselves to be in an unhappy or unfulfilling situation when they have the ability to be somewhere or do something more fulfilling?
I’m not running away from life, I’m running towards life!
Who knows who I’ll meet or what opportunities or ideas may come to me by leaving my bubble of familiarity.
This leads to the second question I’m always asked or told I should do, especially when I find myself in a difficult situation.
Why don’t you just go back home and get a real job?
After you start to travel, sometimes the term ‘home’ changes.
Sometimes you find yourself in a place that feels more like ‘home’ than the place you grew up ever did.
Sure, I do miss my family at times. Thank goodness for modern technology and the ability to have live video chats, although my parents still haven’t figured out how to use Skype in the seven years I’ve been traveling.
In truth, I finally gave in and did come back to my home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to try and find work. I’ll never forget being told that “You’ve done too much. You need to dumb down your resume.” I was never able to live with that mentality of not being my best!
So I started working for myself as a photographer.
As soon as I had enough money (about $1000) I decided I had had enough and returned to my first foreign country and one of my favorites, Costa Rica. I also realized that ‘home’ didn’t feel like ‘home’ anymore. I felt like a stranger there.
As cliche as it sounds, the road has become my home and the amazing people I meet along the way, my extended family. Home really is where you feel happiest.
So why do I travel?
To continually challenge myself and not grow stagnant.
I travel because it makes me happy, even in the tough times.
I travel because I must.