You don’t change your life by taking a plane ticket, or even by getting on a plane. Often when we decide to change our life it is to end suffering, anguish, take distance or find the space to blossom. To regain calm, serenity, to start again from the beginning. This is often what great travellers aspire to. But to change your life, it is not enough to change the scenery, you must first change your way of looking at life.
To cast off is good, to let go is better, but the two are not necessarily simultaneous and will take time
When you leave your comfort zone into the unknown, you quickly realize that you take your stress, your automatisms, your way of working with you. For example, in the beginning you stay very active, you always have to do something. You still have to justify doing nothing. The encounters along the way teach us that there are other patterns, other ways of living one’s life and time slows down.
Under other skies, being useful, productive and fulfilled does not depend on a permanent contract, GDP, IQ or PHD
Travel may teach you to haggle, walk and explore, but chances are it will help you change your perspective on the life you want to lead.
After a while, you’ll realize that it’s neither shameful nor unworthy to stop being part of a pure tube-work-sleep productivity model. That a life spent at work, a retirement plan at the very end with the hope of being happy before you die are mirages. Those you will meet along the way are often completely off the rails. Are they more unhappy? Nothing is less certain. They are useful to their family, their village, they have a place, they are important, “son or daughter of” without any conditions of income, diplomas or salary.
In other countries, we quickly notice that life there is a lot of effort, less comfort but more joy than here
These men and women of the world do not all have the same standard of living. They do not all enjoy the same comfort but are often much happier than we are!
They have to cram into shacks without running water, carry, pull, walk, sweat but keep smiling. They have what we perhaps lack: an ability to be enthusiastic about simple pleasures, to enjoy the present moment and to be integrated into a supportive community.
Washing clothes in the public washhouse with a bat requires much more effort than pushing the button on the washing machine. Yet, it is an important moment of reunion, solidarity and sharing with the other washerwomen. Comfort and safety are no guarantee of happiness.