Don't Float Away: Why You Need Balance When Traveling


(Image courtesy of Wix)


What are your intentions? Did you bring anything with you? How long are you here? As customs agents ask throngs of travelers these same questions every day, the answer constantly changes from the beginning to the end of the trip. I intend to return to my home with a new perspective. I brought years of accumulated knowledge. While I will be here for x amount of days, the place will stay with me tenfold. When a person returns from a trip, a person is forever changed. Pictures and souvenirs add a physical token to the trip. How can a person justly describe a Roman sunset or the New York City skyline?


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People encourage twenty-somethings to the far-flung corners of the world. The world is our oyster, and we get to explore its jewels. People can access social media accounts to unearth mystical shrines, geographic marvels, and photoshoot locations. After all, were you somewhere if you did not take many pictures? But, there has to be a cost to the world’s pearls?




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I love traveling. I think it’s courageous to go somewhere you have never been before. But, too much of a good thing can lead to indulgence. If the purpose of traveling is self-development, what are some downsides of learning so much about yourself?


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When you travel and experience daily life-changing moments, staying in contact with your family and friends can be challenging. Although we live in a time where you can easily connect to anyone anywhere, it is hard to maintain and foster relationships in different time zones, cities, and countries. The traveler would need to create a system to communicate with loved ones to avoid the first pitfall: loneliness. This loneliness is due to the realization that life moves on without you. You are not needed for your family and friends to have positive experiences. While you are gone, your loved ones will develop new memories, jokes, and thrills. You are not privy to the inside jokes or upcoming projects when you come home.


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But, I think there is a more dangerous negative. Every flight, train, or car gradually loses its sparkle as you do the same things at different locations. When you do the same thing repeatedly, travelers can digress from explorers to autonomous as they go through the motions. The traveler has built a tolerance to the initial high of going somewhere outside their comfort zone. To become high on life, some travelers resort to traveling to unsafe places or riskier activities.

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The takeaway of this piece is simple. Before going somewhere, remember your intentions, bring and maintain your relationship with loved ones, and stay as long as you need. When you travel, don’t let who you are fly away.


(Image courtesy of Wix)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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