Leaving Everything Behind to Travel the World - Thomas Mondel

Leaving Everything Behind to Travel the World

I would not consider myself a world traveller. I might be far from that to be honest. I am too much of a coward to travel the world.

The idea of leaving everything behind for good and move somewhere else just to explore some remote parts of the world scares the shit out of me.

Also I just never seem to have enough money to do so anyways. At least that is what I used to tell myself for quite some time. But now travelling the Philippines for two months I have to admit to myself that money was just a lame excuse.

Which leaves me with just being a coward.

Ups.

The most fun thing about travelling for me is looking at myself and how I change along the trip. I love the first days, where I am filled with regret about leaving home and I am in my head all the time, having weird thoughts. I am just really terrible at guilt-free travelling it seems.

I dislike leaving stuff behind. It might be work I have not yet finished. Or friends and family I won’t see for quite some time.

Also, there is a big opportunity cost involved: I could do so much (more important?) stuff in the time I am travelling. In my case, these are two full months I cannot work on existing projects or find new ones. And this thought freaks me out!

The same goes with the money I spend on the trip: I could use it on so much other (better?) investments. It seems I am still quite bad at spending money on myself and not worry about it. It’s just one of my bigger issues, I guess. I am still bad at giving myself a little gift from time to time and accept it with joy.

Yet, I am drawn towards travelling the world. It excites me. Something inside me always makes me do it nonetheless the stupid excuses my mind comes up with.

I am attracted to the unknown and drawn towards uncertainty. And although I love to have my own home and the security it provides, the urge to explore the world seem to win me over every time.

And then it is time to follow this call and go on a journey.

The first days are the best. It is in these days when I learn the most about myself. Also, I love the way I begin to change over these first couple of days. Sometimes it takes me only some days to get into the “zone”, sometimes it takes me way longer. This time I still didn’t quite feel at ease with myself after two weeks. I guess I sometimes make it harder for myself than it has to be. I don’t know.

But as soon as I accept the fact that I am on “holiday” now and this is what my life will look like for the next couple of weeks/months I tend to begin to relax. I begin to rediscover the “joy of doing nothing”.

It’s when I am practicing acceptance that I am beginning to find joy in the journey again. It starts to become an adventure.

Whatever you resist, persists. And as soon as I stop resisting my urge to “do stuff” and to “control how things are supposed to be” I somehow begin to relax. Everything somehow magically begins to go with the flow.

It’s like I was fighting the current in a strong river. Instead of just letting myself go and let the river take me wherever it might lead me, I am wasting all my energy to fight it. And soon I get exhausted and angry about myself and the fact that I am still stuck at the same place.

I just don’t like to let go. I want to control where I am heading. And I want to know in advance where the path will be leading me in the end.

Maybe that’s also the reason the first couple of days are the most difficult for me when I start out my travel. I have to learn to surrender first. I have to let go of the fear of the unknown. I might come across dangerous things. People might harm me. And my closest friends and family are not there to help me out if I might need some help and assistance. It’s scary.

Yet, isn’t that the beauty of every new journey? The simple fact that you don’t know where you will ultimately end up. The fact that you might just see a tiny bit ahead and – at first – it freaks you out. But soon you realize (if you let it happen) that this little bit of vision is all that you need and is also enough.

Like driving your car through foggy night, you might not see far ahead, yet you can always tell if you are still on track or not. And somehow this is all you need to know in life anyways.

Sometimes we have to let go of being in control. I have to remember myself from time to time to let my inner control freak rest for a while. I have to invite some variety and uncertainty into my life.

Yes, I could plan ahead every tiny detail of my life in advance. Still I would not be able to predict all the experiences I will gain and how they will shape me along the way. I could predict all the people I will meet and how they will touch me and change me in very little and yet subtle ways. Life is just a little bit too random to do so.

Maybe it’s time to step into the unknown and embrace whatever it has to offer for you.

Maybe it’s time to stop being a coward.

  • TheSimpleHomemaker

    We travel the country full-time–my husband and I and our (soon-to-be-any-day-now) eight children, plus a dog and a kitten. There is no safety net, no home to go back to, no big bank account. We lose the “control” part of control freak long ago. It’s much smoother if you let go and get going.

    There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for today has enough trouble of its own.” That’s not exactly comforting–ha ha– but it parallels your fog scenario. Focus on the present with a vision in mind for the future and the lessons of the past securely tucked away in your mind.

    Happy travels!

  • Thomas Mondel

    Cool analogy. I have to remember that one. Thanks and see you around!