I used to think that everyone loved travelling and going on holidays but then I interviewed someone who doesn’t like travelling. I’m paraphrasing here but she said she saw no need to go on holiday if you liked your life. In other words, if your life was great, why would you need to take a holiday from it? At first, I sort of agreed but when I thought about it some more, I decided I totally disagreed. First of all, no-one’s life is perfect. And to me, travelling isn’t about getting away from your life, it is part of your life. Of course, going away means taking a break from your day-to-day routine and if that routine isn’t one that makes you happy, you’re not going to be pleased to return to it. On the other hand, travelling can help you feel grateful for what you have. For example: whenever I go to London, I always pine for Lagos and its noise and the freedom to just jump in my car and go wherever I want instead of first checking bus or train schedules and planning every second of my journey.
It is true that sometimes, we travel to get away from unhappy situations at home but sometimes, you need to get away. First, so that you don’t hurt yourself or someone else and secondly, because sometimes, being away gives you ideas on how to change what is making you unhappy. It might not look like it but my life was pretty routine-filled. I was bored of and with myself but didn’t know what to do about it. It took me going to Senegal and meeting and having fun with new people to make me realise that to have fun, I had to do things I don’t usually do with people I don’t usually do it.
I have never been a fan of running from a place to avoid emotional problems because I believe that that famous saying ‘wherever you go, there you are’ is true. But I am a big fan of travelling in order to learn: to learn what other people believe, to learn how to tolerate people different from you and to learn how to say “Do you have that in a smaller size?” in the language of whatever country I am in.
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