Often times, it is a common notion that most avid travellers are longing to escape their reality. The daily hustle and life’s demands have all become too much to handle. Or perhaps we are searching for a more meaningful course to pursue while we figure out the details of our future? Between the stresses and demands that are present in our home lives and the longing for meaning, it is not wonder that we want to explore the world (or escape it).

The only way to truly escape the ‘real world’ involving travel would be to actually relocate to a new destination. This is making a permanent move that will ultimately affect your new future reality. Still, you won’t be fully escaping reality per se, you will be starting anew and that might help with any former confusion of your ‘old life.’ To actually escape yourself and the world we live in is harder than it seems. People tend to want to take an extended break to recover from some kind of hardship or downturn in their life, but travelling wont necessarily solve all your problems.

Travelling is not the remedy for a broken heart, broken life, or tragic past. As much as we crave for the kind of ‘escapism’ through travel, the reality of our problems will always follow us wherever we go. Temporary travel might distract us for a moment, a day, a week, and then suddenly one brief pause or long haul flight makes way for your problems to resurface. If you’re thinking about taking a trip because you are on the run from your inner pain than you should reconsider. Your true self will be a part of you wherever you wander on this earth, so why not deal with yourself first before actually trying to escape your environment or problems first.

Many travellers will openly admit that their initial plan to backpack for several months to a year or go on a long-stay travel excursion was to recover or escape. Once this escapism trip has passed, the same restless travellers will also mention that travelling during a crisis or high-level emotional state did not eradicate their personal problems. Travelling did not automatically alleviate them of their worries, sadness or confusion and at best travelling might have been better enjoyed if they actually sorted out their issues before booking their travel.

With that said, maybe we should look deeper into the correlation between escapism and travelling instead of looking to travelling as the sole solution to our problems. Taking a more relaxed approach to travel instead of a restless one might help us to actually find some relief when we are mentally prepared to travel. Remember, you will still find yourself no matter where you set foot in this world, so you might as well travel to explore rather than to escape realities. Viewing travelling as a form of renewal and enrichment as opposed to escapism allows us to be present in the moment instead of searching for solutions that may not be found. What’s your take on travelling vs. escapism?

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