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is it really a question of where you are?


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  • Added on: July 13th, 2006
Yes, sonichka, it is a question of where YOU are. When you know WHERE YOU ARE, all the rest will fall into place. Smile


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Joined: December 27th, 2002
Location: Currently cycling from Indonesia to India

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  • Added on: September 5th, 2006
someone said to me recently that it seemed to her that people who travel just for the sake of traveling, travel to the unknown (relative to the traveler) in order to become unknown. But you can't have love without familiarity..

To me, the relation between space and mind are as such as space is what puts expectation on the mind. If you get familiar to a place, it (obviously with all that comes with that particular space, i.e. people) will have expectations towards you and you will have expectations towards yourself in relation to that space. So "travel to the unknown (relative to the traveler) in order to become unknown" might not be that far off the target. I know that it is something that I actually to enjoy about the unknown space. Expectations disapear and are often only present in regard to the palce to left behind. That's why I'm somebody who promotes the 'buring of the bridges'. If you want to be free of expectations and travel for that reason, then why carry the burden of 'old' expectations with you. The new space doesn't expect anything of you. And you don't have expectations towards yourself in regard to the new space. It's liberating. IMO.

I believe, that if you completely free yourself of what you expect from yourself in regard of how you deal with people, you might find that you actually do have things to say to people. Maybe just different stuff than you expected yourself to say before.
I've been in a similar position as you are, when it comes to people. Probably for differing reasons, but the symptoms were similiar. I thought it would then always be that way. But on my last trip I realised, that I've chaged in that regard. I'm actually quite good with people now. I never thought I could be. It's difficult to say excactely why this happend. Maybe I was just getting older, more experienced, etc. But I attribute at least part of it to the fact, that I was able to free myself first of the expectations people had towards me - and eventually the ones I had towards myself. And the easy way (as opposed to, you know, meditation, psycho analysis, etc.) is travelling.

So, don't never know what's around next corner. And things might be different after France!

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"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein

Michael C

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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 282
Joined: October 25th, 2006

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  • Added on: May 15th, 2007
whereever you go, there YOU are

I've never quite liked this saying, although I can't quite put my finger on why. I grew up in a small, rigid, conservative town ... and I really felt like I blossomed into someone new and more exciting the day I left. I'm the same me as I was then, and yet I'm so much happier then I would ever have been if I stayed put.

Sometimes it's good to shake things up. We are responsive to our environments, and I fully believe that different environments bring up different facets of our personalities. I would still be 'me' whether I lived in Manhattan or Medellin, but I am sure that I would flourish more in one than the other.

Personally, I need that shock of the unknown & all the challenges and excitements it brings to feel alive - and a great travel adventure will keep me high for months back home. And yet that day will always come when I'm bored and restless and wishing there was more to life, no matter how much I love those around me. And I'll hit the road once again, and feel so refreshed after.

Enjoy France! And enjoy whoever you become there! It's all a journey, and we never know what comes next.
Michael C


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Joined: February 23rd, 2006

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  • Added on: May 26th, 2007

it's kinda cool that to see that there were more replies here which I had missed. Thanks for the ongoing posts. Michael, I feel that way right now - I hadn't quite known how to put into words.. thanks

Well, I had an amazing time. Doesn't everyone always have an amazing time their erasmus year? I had thought I wouldn't, but, I'm not an exception to the rule. My closest friends there were actually other Californians - proof that it wasn't a sort of America angst? Interestingly enough, most of my friends were international students, and I come out of this year speaking some Spanish as well. (We were near the Spanish border). So I guess my experience could've happened elsewhere, besides France..

I really don't know how to sum up what this past year was. While it was happening it felt like nothing; but, now that I'm in Finland for a week (I lived here on a scholarship three summers ago; it was the first time I was ever in Europe) chilling in the typically Finnish weather with little to do but drink and reflect upon things, I feel like.. I feel like I matured a lot since the last time I was here. France really pushed my buttons in a lot of ways, to the point where I ceased to care about most things that don't warrant worrying about. I've always been told that happiness is a choice.. I've learned, selfishly perhaps, but is that really a bad thing, how to choose. It takes a leap of faith, but after this year I feel like I can be okay anywhere, after anything. Well. I still have a lot of things to work on, but, it's ok now


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: April 9th, 2006

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  • Added on: May 26th, 2007
Welcome back! Thanks for providing the opening that led to some terrific posts. We all have a lot of things to work on. If we didn't, we'd either be dead or in Nirvana, and I'm not certain I believe in Nirvana.

Gaelic Funk Monkey

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Joined: January 28th, 2008

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2008
I love the title and mood of this thread and will have to come back to read it in detail when its not so late.

Its pretty circumstantial but i'm inclined to agree with my mother who told me before I left home that if you're miserable at home, you're likely to be miserable everywhere you go. Happiness is an inner thing. The fact that misery did follow me across the world helped me realise this so I don't regret travelling for that reason.

On the other hand, travel can do wonders for the miserable type simply because you tend to see and experience things that even the most cynical of souls just can't help but be moved by. These sorts of things seem to stick in your memory and stand as reasons as to why life is worth living.
*I should be working*


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