Why traveling might not make you happier
It’s no secret that I love traveling. I think it’s definitely made me a better person and has shaped me into who I am today. I’ve always loved the idea of exploring unknown territories, meeting people from all over the world and doing things that I would never do at home, such as bungy jumping or hiking to volcanoes. But many people often ask me if traveling makes me happier. It does, to some extent, but it won’t solve my problems and it’s not like I’ll be instantly happy just because I travel. I think happiness comes from within and it really doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you are the only one that can change your mindset.
Once, I was setting off on a long backpacking trip that I was hoping would solve my problems. I was heartbroken, I was confused about what to do in life and I was not happy. So I thought that by jetting off to new countries, it would automatically solve my problems. But never before have I felt that lonely and isolated from my friends and family. I felt so unhappy but I disguised it well. I told myself over and over again how grateful I should be for this opportunity and that I should be happy about my situation. I met people, I did all the sightseeing and I looked happy on the outside. But on the inside, there were still all of these issues that I still hadn’t resolved. The thing is, it doesn’t matter where you go on the world because your problems will follow you. Of course traveling does have the power to make you a happier person, that’s why so many people travel – because they love it. But don’t make traveling all about happiness. Instead, make it about growth. Make it about gaining more life experience. Make it about learning more about yourself. Don’t expect it to be a happy pill that you can just swallow and expect instant happiness. That was the mistake I made and it backfired on me, big time.
My backpacking trip did end on a happier note. I decided to deal with all the unresolved issues I had, I decided to just take the trip for what it was – traveling – and I felt a stone being lifted off my shoulders. I do think traveling is one of the best things anyone could do, just because it gives you a better understanding of other people’s cultures, it makes you more open-minded, and it really makes you appreciate what you have at home.