Routine and society can often fill our brains with a lot of negativity and despair. You see everyone around you unable to achieve their dreams; you hear them talking about how one should be logical with their goals in life and only go after what can be achieved. Laziness and anxiety have become two trademarks that define our era. The comforts of our laptops, beds, sofas and cars have left us dependent, our lack of interaction with the outer world has made us anxious and even fearful of any adventure, no matter how small or simple it really is.
“Lifestyle changes,” (partly thanks to mainstream media, but also mainly thanks to our routine and society) now seem impossible to achieve. The simple act of walking an extra hour every morning, crunching on an apple instead of a hotdog or keeping yourself from lighting up the next cigarette have all now become so increasingly hard to do, that we find ourselves in a state of self-loathing, being angry at others around us for our failure to take the simplest effort towards a better life.
Humanity transformed a cave-dwelling reptilian homo-sapient into a machine-operating intelligent human. We’ve built cities, discovered space, set foot on the moon, prolonged human life from 30 to 80 years and you still find it hard to change a habit? How hard it is to actually do the thing you want to do is merely an illusion, a fear of what to come and the sum of all negative phrases planted into your head on a day to day basis.
The thing about traveling for long periods of time is that it shows what you are actually capable of. Whether it’s through saying goodbye to everyone you knew your entire life, having to build a new life from the ground, spending some time homeless, facing extreme weather changes, dealing with all kinds of different personalities or harvesting all your power to understand another country’s transportation system, you can do it (and at many times, fairly easily).
Readjustment might be hard the first or the second time but once you’ve mastered it, you have endless possibilities. Reflecting on your travel and time abroad helps you notice that moment (that spark), when you start walking that extra mile, when you start taking that extra effort needed to achieve what you want. When you come back from traveling abroad, it’s being sucked back into the routine that bothers you the most. You feel that spark slowly fading away, you feel yourself losing that motivation, falling back into the herd, into the disastrous paralyzing routine of everyday life.
All you really need to do in that case is remember that spark. You’ve survived in a foreign country, learned a foreign language and integrated in a foreign culture. You’ve walked halfway around town in degrees lower than you could have ever imagined. You’ve surprised yourself with a million little unexpected feelings and achievements, you’ve been forced to put so much effort yet felt so good after it. You know what it’s like, so what’s stopping you? Throw away that cigarette, walk that extra hour, change the way you do things… it’s only hard in your head and the only thing standing between who you are now and who you want to be is your own thoughts and fears.
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