A major lesson that unfolded during my travels was to maintain balance in life, enjoying the journey. I spent the following 7 years after graduation embarking upon several backpacking adventures, working hard to rebuild my bank account after each trek so that I could pursue the next big trip. The period of time in between my travels was always dull and boring, filled with many complaints over how I wished I was still backpacking. By the time I was about to jet off on my next adventure, there was a desperate need to escape and “find myself”. I had once again drifted away from my true essence and the components of life that made me feel alive.
I think that the need to escape stemmed from feeling disconnected from my true self, which grew more evident as time passed by. I allowed myself to get swept up by the expectations and pressures of everyday life. As soon as I got home from a lengthy backpacking trip, I would completely switch gears. My daily journal writing, self-reflection, the practice of being present, quality human interactions and free spirited mindset all came to a halt. My main focus became working as much as I could, saving every cent for the next big adventure. I spent an unnecessary amount of time on my phone and laptop, scrolling aimlessly through social media outlets trying to pass the time. Societal pressures flooded my mind, and I became stressed out on a regular basis over what I was going to do with my life and what career path I was going to pursue. In between trips, I usually blamed the unhappiness I experienced on the city I lived in. Now looking back, I can see that a huge reason of needing to escape emerged from not taking the time to enjoy the journey. It can be easy to get caught up chasing a distant goal or destination, dismissing the simple moments that are so wonderful.
I now make a conscious effort to fill my daily life with things, big or small, that feed my mind body and soul. Whether it's’ taking my labradoodle Annie outside in nature, having a hot bath, sitting by the ocean, cozying up to watch a movie, or heading to the nearest cafe to grab a hot drink. I have realized the importance of doing the things that make you feel good on a daily basis. The greater effort I have put into maintaining this mindset, the more consistently content I have found myself to be. I still have the desire to travel, though I no longer feel the constant urge to get away or escape reality. I hope to share my experiences and relay the message to enjoy the journey through my creations!