Does travel broaden the mind like they say it does?
Well, out of all of the people I know, I am certainly up there with the most well-travelled person, so if you were to pose that question to anyone I would be the ideal candidate.
I’ve been travelling non-stop since I was 17. Half my life. I have pretty much been everywhere aside from Africa and South America.
So, back to the question; does travel broaden the mind? Yes. Of course it does.
However each time I’ve returned from my travels, it feels as though I’ve returned to a somewhat dull existence. The mundaneness of routine abounds. Work, gym, household chores, paying bills. Most people are content with that. Or they at best don’t question it. But what happens if you’re not content with an ordinary life? Are we ultimately setting ourselves up for disappointment?
So back to the broadening of the mind bit.
I think the easiest way to describe it is like this. You know how an overweight person needs a lot of food to feel satisfied? That’s because they have a larger stomach to fill. It’s been stretched out from time spent overindulging. Probably why a new found solution to that is gastric banding. To shrink your stomach to reduce your appetite.
When we expose ourselves to so many different things, places, people, our minds are blown wide open, yet the flip side to that is it means we’ve seen so much, that in a way we become insatiable. A bit like an addict. What do we do when that high wears off and we’re faced with “reality”. Is there a way of curbing this appetite?
Whose reality is it anyway? I wouldn’t choose this would I? But I’m living it, so i must have made a conscious choice at some point that this is what i wanted for my life. Or has society subconsciously convinced me that that was the only choice? But by the same token I have never had what would be considered a “normal” life. So who am I comparing myself to?
I describe myself as suffering from chronic dissatisfaction. I am the eternal Peter Pan, forever chasing a rainbow. I’ve seen too much perhaps. I’m now like a junkie needing more and more of the drug to have any sort of effect. An endless search for that elusive level of bliss where contentment will fill me.
They say ignorance is bliss. And let me tell you, it is. How could you possibly miss something if you’ve never experienced it? How could you desire something you don’t even know exists? And once you’ve seen so much, how can you go back to the way you once were? You are forever changed in every way imaginable.
Sometimes I wish I was that girl who wanted the white picket fence. I don’t think I’ve ever been that person.
So are those simple things now simply too complicated for my life?