“Travel far enough, you meet yourself”
Traveling is nothing short of magic.
It plucks you from the dusty pages of your mundane life and breathes life back into the colorful aspects of who you are. If you are lucky, it helps you discover a new side of you. A side you never knew existed. A side that you never knew you could have.
Last year, I took a beautiful solo trip to Europe to meet some friends. That too was nothing short of magic as it was eye-opening and nearly life changing.
And as much as I don’t mind solo traveling, this year my family decided to take a trip back home- to the wonderful summer islands of the Philippines.
Now let me tell you this. Sure, it’s great to travel alone. You get to explore, be free, and do whatever you want. But the absolute pleasure and fun you get to travel with family is unmatchable.
Plus, my entire extended family is in Manila, so why wouldn’t I love going back to the family?
Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit them as often as I like, but the fact that every single time I do, I have the best time with them.
Now aside from the trip back home, it got me thinking about how people treat traveling to new lands as a mind opening experience. But what about traveling back in time to familiar places that open your heart?
One of the biggest things is that you get to rediscover a part of yourself. The part you think you may have forgotten with the hustle and bustle of growing up. It helps you rediscover your likes, dislikes, your hobbies, your forgotten memories, down to the very essence of your personality that may have simply dissipated with the burden of adulthood.
I have really been struggling to place my heart recently. I did not feel like I could apply my heart to anything I do anymore. My pieces were ohkay to say the least, but I felt like I could have added more of my heart. My regularity in posting suffered because of this and so did my satisfaction with the writing I put out into the world.
It was good, but I felt like I could do better.
And this trip couldn’t have come at a better time.
Not only did a fresh perspective immensely help in the way I saw things, but when you distance yourself from the person you think you are becoming, you suddenly see yourself for who you are.
So when I felt like I couldn’t place my heart into anything or anyone, I decided to pack what’s left of my heart and let it roam free in this trip. I took in all the experiences, the activity, the change of environment and even revisited the things that make me who I am today.
I went through all my childhood belongings (I used to live in Manila before I moved), smiled at the insane anime sticker collection I used to have, the board games we used to play, comics I used to read, and even played with my older Barbies and her endless closet.
In my mind, I revisited myself at a time when everything was simple. A great Saturday was spending the afternoon watching a movie. A great weekend was going to the arcade and winning enough tickets to buy something. A good night was with my mom, reading us a book.
All these things, when I look back at them, made me so happy, and I realized how simple they were. How the smallest of things gave me the biggest of joys.
Where between then and growing up did we forget to live life a little more simply? Well, given technology and whatnot, I don’t mean live simply in terms of lifestyle, but simple in terms of what we make of the world.
“After all, life is really simple; we ourselves create the circumstances that complicate it.”
So I let my heart roam further. Back to the actions that made me happier. The food I used to love when I was younger, the places I used to go to, and the walks down memory lane that gave me a lot of my fond memories as a kid. I let my heart go, farther and farther till it lost itself. I rediscovered what made me like certain things in the first place, what kind of junk food appealed to me the most, what soft drinks we would sip by the pool side, and what the haze of a happy summer afternoon in the air did to my imagination.
I took it all in, and little by little my heart came back to me.
It reminded me how happier I could be without depending on anyone else but myself.
I realized why children who learn to entertain themselves learn to be less dependent on the people around them to make them happy. Because they find happiness in the smallest of things available to them. What more could they ask for?
A bigger sense-of-self came back to me.
So when you travel, you find yourself yes. With the new experiences, you find a newer version of you. But when you let your heart travel farther from you, you uncover a much-needed wave of clarity you never knew you wanted in the first place.
But who said you need to travel to new places? Or exotic places?
You can travel back to places you once called home or had the privilege to belong to. You can travel to bring back a warm sense of nostalgia or re-read chapters from a simpler time in your life. Find out the root of your personality and what helps you ground those beliefs in the first place.
Trust me, it will do you some good without you realizing it.
So the next time you get the opportunity, travel. But not escape, not to run away and leave all your problems behind, but find new and refreshed ways of tackling them once and for all.
Travel to remember who once were, what you can be and what your undiscovered potential is. Go somewhere and prepare yourself, to meet yourself again.
May you travel to happier memories,