Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Yellow Brick Road

The subject of journeys has cropped up into my mind recently.

I suppose with all that's been going on in the world, people talking of moving away and some taking steps to do so, it was inevitable.

When I moved out to study abroad, my plan was to get an education and qualifications to travel around the world teaching English. Over my time in education, I saw a slew of offers to teach abroad and heard of people moving around Europe, simply changing schools they teach at... but after some years I realised I only wanted that so I'd have photos of various places to upload to Facebook and make other people envious. Their envy, however, wouldn't have made me happy.

When the subject of what languages I speak creeps up into the conversation what generally follows is an expectation that I've been to every country whose language I'm more or less familiar with but I lack the wanderlust some people exhibit.

Even when I went to Paris with my parents a few months ago, I had to cancel meeting some friends for a boardgame which would have been a nicer way to spend my time. I keep catching myself forgetting I went abroad recently, I just care so little for it. I did get a few books out of it so I can't complain.

When I'm shown photos of other people's travels, while I appreciate the joy they exhibit and see how wonderful the places they went to are, I don't regret not having the time nor money to go there. In fact, while people around me talk about how they'd love to have a chance to travel but for various reasons can't, I probably have the means to just up and leave.

Why not? Why not go on a grand adventure spanning a few years, experience what the world has to offer? Because it's a life that carries with itself a burden of impermanence. Such a life holds no appeal to me.

I'm not satisfied living with what I can carry, working and filling my spare time with socialising. I've worked hard on creating a life for myself that I could be happy with. Although it's not perfect and I'm still implementing plans to make it more manageable, I could do without various people telling me to throw everything into the bin and go be pretend-happy instead.