Why Do You Travel? A Dialogue With Myself


When I first moved from my parents’ place, I was actually running away, even if I wouldn't admit it to myself. Away from a place I didn’t like, from bad memories I had there, from a family that didn’t understand me. But it’s much later that I realized it, through self-reflection.  

I felt into this trap again recently. I ran away from a place where I had had a very painful memory that my mind couldn't let go off. There was other factors that made me want to leave, but nothing unbearable. I just felt this urgent need and took this spontaneous decision in a few weeks and left. I moved to another country again for a few months. I was enjoying the place there, traveling and living a new experience, but something felt wrong and I had a lot of time to think… and self-reflect. Today I’m realizing that most of my travels where some kind of escape from a reality I wasn’t happy about. Running away from myself. I didn’t appreciate myself and thought ”in a totally new place, you can be someone totally new”.

But the truth is, there’s no escape from your own mind. Wherever you go, it travels with you. There’s no escape from yourself. If you do it for bad reasons, traveling can be an endless vicious circle. You cannot spend your whole life running away. Perhaps some people do, but they never find happiness. 

I have a long-term solo trip to Asia planned soon. Obviously, I need to make things clear with myself. 

-       Why do you travel ?

I travel to see the world. To meet its people. To experience. To learn.

-       But why?

To LIVE, to feel alive. To feel richer inside. To have incredible stories to tell my grand-children and adventures to remember always. To find love. And I don’t mean love as in a person. I mean love as infinite and unconditional. Feeling in harmony with my soul.

-       So why, finally?

To be happy.

-       But why can’t you be happy at home?

Home? You mean the place where I grew up? It’s not a place where I have ever felt really happy. Perhaps this is why I travel: to find home. To me, home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.

-       You are contradicting yourself. You agree that home isn’t a place but a feeling, yet you keep moving and looking for it in different places. If home is a feeling, that means you can find it in the place where you grew up or where you are now. 

You’ve got a point. I travel to find something that is already in me. Yet, I feel most happy when I’m getting to know other cultures, traditions and people, and this is something that I can only experience while traveling. 

-       And that is a great experience, but what about getting to know yourself? Because if you rely on external experiences to make you happy, you will always be frustrated in the end. Everything in this world is temporary. You count on traveling, on experiences, on others, on little things, but they don’t last, as much as you repeat them. You must find your "home" inside. How? By finding love in yourself. How? By loving yourself. You are the only person that you will need to bear all your life. Your own company is precious and irremplacable. You must build « home » in yourself. It doesn’t have to be walls, but a strong base for stability and a solid roof for protection. How? By taking care of your body and mind. By spending time on your own and learning to appreciate it. By practising non-judgement, trust and patience towards yourself. By realizing self-love is your most important material to build that home feeling inside. Your body is a temple that needs to be honoured and your mind is a miracle because it is awareness. Celebrate them for they are your first home. Love your home. If you travel, travel to love your home.

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