Is traveling merely an escape from reality?

Not everyone agrees with everyone’s view on traveling.  For one, the form in which we travel comes in various ranges.  The length of time we disappear from our daily reality is very relative.  The purpose for it is personal and unique for each and everyone of us.

On a peak in the Ubehebe/La Playa of Death Valley National Park.

However, the perception that traveling is merely an escape, you know, from your own reality is a common perception held by many.  The point raised is certainly valid although it paints a negative view of the individual accused of such perception.  I have been accused of that plenty of times myself. But as I explored deeper into my own motivations for seeing the world more frequently than the average person, the defensiveness I held towards the query dissipated.

Places like this make you feel as if life is unreal.

Surely, I have flown out to places right after a horrible relationship ending to do exactly what I was accused of, that is, escaping reality.  It was an escape that provided me an ideal way of healing, which arguably people will find healthy. Hence, I suppose when people inquire in that manner, they are worried more so that one has turned into a habitual runner from reality by virtue of traveling.  For a while, I was guilty of that but one can only keep running until he or she realizes there really is no such thing as an “escape.”  There, at that very moment, I had an epiphany in which I had to make a choice to turn my traveling into a reality, a supplemental, rather than a Band Aid, to my daily life that includes my career and personal life.  Once that was accomplished, the flow from my personal daily life to my travel life became much more real and connected.  It must be noted that the flow wasn’t created overnight.  One needs to establish a healthy personal life that is sustained by an adequate level of personal satisfaction and happiness. Only then can traveling be relieved of its role as a mere Band-Aid, and accordingly, assume the role of our favorite “teacher of life experiences.”

Yading Kora Trek
There’s a lot to learn about spirituality even in the outdoors. In Yading Nature Preserve, Sichuan Provice of China.

So, those people who are skeptical about the reason why you travel must understand that traveling at its highest enlightened form is a means of self-discovery.  It’s an extension of ourselves that dates back to the time when we were children – a stage in our lives when we unapologetically possessed an undying spirit of adventure and courage.

Traveling is not an escape for there really is no door to exit out of the existence that we hold.  We are only granted an entry into an exploration of ourselves to find the journey that suits who we are at any given moment while the forces beyond us continually turn the pages of our lives each day.

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Brown Gal Trekker is a nomad at heart who survives the mountains to inspire others to trek them.