Seneca said: “Live in this belief: I am not born for any one corner of the universe; this whole world is my country.”
Seneca’s letter, and your article sums up that we don’t have to leave our place to live gloriously present or happy in another. I agree with this notion, but your article on Why Travel Isn’t a Cure for the Mind maybe why traveling the right way can be a cure for the soul (which, is somehow connected to our mind, right?)
Traveling is usually a precursor to growth in my experience.
Not traveling denies us the experience of living outside our comfort zone. Not traveling takes away the chance of learning and practicing empathy and sympathy with different cultures and people, which one can’t do by reading a book. This travel process is implicit in one’s personal growth and understanding of who they are in relation to the billions of different humans out there, regardless of where they choose to live.
There are important benefits on the growth of travelers that Seneca or you didn’t mention, that usually, in today’s world, we can statistically prove. Travelers grow their minds and well-being by how they view travel in their relation to other people, cultures, and places.
You and Seneca are talking about finding eternal happiness in travel, which is impossible (wait, is it?)
What if I just want to keep traveling. The dopamine keeps coming. I keep traveling. The dopamine keeps coming. Does that make me addict? A junkie?
Yes, if the dopamine rush of eating foreign foods, drinking fine wines, and seeing new sights is your only happiness. But even vacation is healthy for us. But this notion is different than living and slow traveling in a new society.
Going to Disney World is much different than living and traveling in Argentina for six months.
By going to live in Argentina, you begin to touch, smell, listen, learn, and grow through adapting to a foreign culture. I don’t know about your Box of Experience, but usually when I travel, I deal with culture shock, depression, anxiety, loss of language, am lost constantly, have no friends, and am forced to find happiness and peace in ways America never taught me.
That makes any Box of Experience (here or there or anywhere) better when you finally grow through it.
The byproducts of travel (hell, even dopamine-based vacations):
- You will become more creative and open yourself to new ways of thinking.
- You actually decrease your chance of heart disease through travel.
- Help you keep relationships strong when shared with a partner or friend.
- According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, those who travel and study abroad tend to be more open and emotionally stable.
Fam, leaving your world to travel out of displeasure or unhappiness with your own life isn’t a cure for the mind or unsettled box of experience, but hell, what if it is?
What if travel spurs you into action? Into growth? Into understanding who you are and what life you want when you come back (or never come back)?
Why the hell wouldn’t you travel if it helps you grow, relax, understand, enjoy, and be more emotionally stable?
Again, it’s unique to the person because leaving your world to travel with the idea you can grow into a healthier, happier, and more aware mind in someone else’s world comes down to who you want to become.
These are some things I’ve learned from traveling to various parts of the world.
Change never stops in our world, or the world outside it.
Taking in, and feeling beauty and understanding belongs to those who are willing to grow, learn, and apprehend the different ideas, cultures, and people of our world, and their place next to them.
Travel can teach you how to open your mind if you allow it, in fact, it naturally does it by default.
The American that lives with the Japanese learns to view honor differently.
The American that lives in Guatemala understands the gratitude of opportunity.
The American that drinks Belgian ale remembers where their IPA’s were invented.
This is called personal growth.
Travel, when done correctly, forces you to understand what you are and who you are.
We are humans, created from the same source, and yes, our beliefs may be different, but our need for love, shelter, food, water, and connection (and self-actualization) are the same.
Today, our American country, our people, our society, our political system, it reflects the spectrum of humans not willing to try and understand one’s beliefs, feelings, skin color, religious upbringing, background, ethnicity, and spiritual views.
Seneca says, “I disagree with those who strike out into the midst of the billows and, welcoming a stormy existence, wrestle daily in hardihood of soul with life’s problems. The wise man will endure all that, but will not choose it; he will prefer to be at peace rather than at war. It helps little to have cast out your own faults if you must quarrel with those of others.”
When we travel in the self-awareness of knowing our quarrel with life is usually started internally before it’s manifested externally, then travel is a perfect cure for the mind because it allows us to grow through the experience we could not otherwise have.