Travel to change: no, life is not just immobility, hardship or sacrifice

Whatever the curriculum, whatever the number of candles on the cake, you’re ready to cast off. If you’re going to change your life, you might as well do it for the better, right? But you still have to change your mind about life!

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.

No, no and no, living does not mean being stuck in constraints, seeing the future through a salary and thinking that you have to sacrifice, exhaust yourself and give up what you really want to deserve your place.

We learn along the way not to confuse difficult and complex, reality and feeling, price and value

Leaving for a long trip means discovering other social and relational systems that can help the traveller to reconnect with the essential and stop getting lost in toxic and frustrating patterns.
We relearn to make efforts with pleasure rather than trying to avoid them. Choosing fulfilling rather than rewarding activities and work, enjoying what is priceless but valuable. We also learn to refuse to be anxious about problems that are not yet there and to look to the future with courage and confidence.
Then, changing one’s life with a clear conscience becomes truly possible.

Travel is a true awakener of consciousness. These changes would be very difficult to make in the daily routine, changing surroundings helps a lot.

Travelling is getting back on the road, getting out of the hamster’s wheel

The journey helps us to let go of this mechanism of sacrifice, of merit. It throws us out of the hamster wheel in which daily life is locked up with the deceptive sensation of moving forward… while we are treading water.
All that remains now is to walk this path with happiness and not as a wanderer in search, once again, of safety. For it is well known, the natural returns to the gallop! It takes a certain amount of time to deprogram the automatisms, which is one of the reasons why a long journey will be more conducive to change.
To live is to know that every day, it is possible to change course, go back, start again, be reborn and reinvent oneself.
To live happily is to know that failure is only a lesson and success is ephemeral.
This new life will always have ups and downs, hot and cold, but, strong and confident, you will be able to live it with confidence. Something good will always happen and if it doesn’t, you will have the inner resource to cope.
Ahhh, this famous trip that “changed my life” … It can open the mind, but still? What does a long journey change in us?

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