Throughout this “pilgrimage” that my travels have become, I keep asking myself why I keep traveling? And why I left in the first place?
I left to look for something, what? In plain sight I’d say I came looking for adventures, something new, spontaneous and unforgettable. A year and a half later I sit down and ask myself the same questions again and again. Why do I keep traveling? What do I keep looking for? And I can’t find the answers.
I’ve talked with many other backpackers, everyone has a story, their reasons, their fear, their expectations and hopes, but in the end almost everyone can be classified into two groups: those traveling to escape or run away from something, and those looking for something/ The first group might be running away from a difficult life situation, a bad breakup or simply a routine, the second group might be looking for adventures, to prolong their youth or recover it after leaving it aside for a corporate job.
No matter which group a person belongs to, the important thing is that we are traveling; we are living an experience and have a story that is ours
When I ask myself what I’m looking for and why I keep moving, I dismantle both questions to get to the core, the simplest concept.
That’s when I find the concept of freedom. The foundation of my journey is freedom, a freedom that I don’t have in my country, in my home. That freedom applies to everyone that decided to put a backpack on, got on a plane and went to the other part of the world to see what the fuck would happen.
We make it to a new place and it’s key for us to be aware that we can wake up tomorrow, pack our bags and move to a completely different city, country, or whatever and start over and it won’t matter. It won’t matter because there won’t be people judging us, no ties to family, friends, girlfriends, long-term jobs or routines.
Finally we are at a point of our lives where everything is disposable, or better, we are recyclable, because we can get the better out of everything and then change and reinvent ourselves somewhere else or in a completely new environment.
As backpacker or travelers we can also recycle ourselves, change from those who run away to those who look for something or vice versa. Based on what we have found in our travels, we evolve, and that person that started off running from a broken relationship, might end up finding a new one and decides to keep on going to keep it alive; maybe that who was looking for an adventure, got scared and decides to move to another place to forget the previous nightmare.
All of this can only be achieved if we free our minds and conceive the idea that nothing can stop us. The idea that we are finally alone and that now the world really is big and full of opportunities, because before, on paper, it was still as big, but our reality was tiny and we limited ourselves to a routine made of the same job and friendships. Day after day we’d do the same all over again, like robots, but we did have the freedom to say stop, we just didn’t empower it.
There are many external pressures, it’s completely normal to have doubts, fears and anxieties, but it’s all mental and it’s inside us to conquer all that and have the courage to say: “I’m leaving”. Before we realize it we already left, we arrived and we are loving it.
We love it so much that we want more, and we realize that nobody is saying yes or no, and that the more we surround ourselves with other backpackers, we listen to more stories that get into our heads and our bodies fill with positive energy and we want to travel more and more, know more from the people, experiment new things and feelings, and travel the immensity of the world because it’s huge, yes, but now it’s accessible.
Now we have the freedom to decide whatever the fuck we want, to get ourselves a shit job, temporary, just to save and keep going, and that if one day we had enough of it, we just get up and leave because the consequences are minimum and we assume them ourselves, not an entire family or a group of friends.
Based on our freedom we recycle ourselves, picking up new elements, mixing up, becoming new beings, new figures, more experienced backpackers, and globalized humans.
And in that moment we stop, because the answer to why we keep traveling it’s not about running or looking for something, but to still be free in the middle of the unknown.