I want to let you in on the best-kept travel secret yet.
As of today, I've been traveling for over 90 days through Portugal, UK, Iceland, Mexico, USA, Indonesia, and I write to you from Byron Bay, Australia. When I left I bought myself a new journal, as I often do when I start a "new chapter" in my life, and wrote on the front of it "My Escape Route". I didn't think much of that title until recently.
Let's get one thing straight - Travel is by far one of the richest experiences you can give yourself, there's no doubt about that. You're able to test yourself in cultures, with people, or languages you've never seen or heard. You realize that your way isn't the best or only way. You appreciate things you took for granted when you realize how much less some people have, conversely you have more compassion, empathy, and generosity when you see how much some have to sacrifice just to live comfortably. It's true that cliche saying about how purchasing travel is the one thing that makes you richer (you know, on the inside).
But I realized that as people book their 2-week vacations or yoga retreats to Bali or quit their jobs to take off on a great around the world adventure, we shouldn't ever want to "escape". I've met many travelers along the way that seem to be doing just that, one's with recent breakups or revelations or inspirations and see travel as the only cure to their ailment or broken heart - as if physically leaving where they are might help escape the pain or problems their dealing with internally. Don't get me wrong, hopping on a plane and landing on a foreign island, it can help, it definitely can.
I left my home, that I love very much, because I felt like I was living an unoriginal life, finding myself in the 8-5 routine taking my surroundings and people for granted. It's easy to cruise Instagram or whatever it is we're using these days and dream about a foreign place, a better place, a better time (past or future). But I will be completely honest with you, the grass is not greener anywhere else in the world. I haven't been everywhere but over the 20 countries and 5 continents I have been to, you still find humans being humans, the good being good, the evil being evil, sunsets being sunsets etc. Okay, the skiing in British Columbia or beaches of Brazil or food in Paris or romance in Rome or punk music in Portland is better than some other places, comparatively...but you know what I mean, right? No matter where you go, you still go to bed with yourself and your beliefs or what you think of the world. You can go around the world and back, but if you take care of your mind, body, and soul - and make "home" in yourself, the world or your backyard becomes a very beautiful place.
Anyway, I hope you pick up what I'm putting down and as I feed your itch to travel by posting tropical or foreign places on social media, know that exactly where you are in the world could be the best place ever, it's up to you.