There is a group of people amongst our generation that just can't seem to sit still.
And I know, because I've lived, for shorter or longer periods of time, in six countries over the last five years. It feels like there is a certain need inside you to go again, experience again, keep looking for more, for better: grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side kind of attitude. And if you expect me to say now that it isn't and give some kind of philosophical explanation for why we keep thinking it will be better 'there' rather than 'here.' I'll just tell you this -- I don't know about the grass, but the sky is definitely bluer!
Now let me explain.
Think about going to a new country, or even a new city in your country, but the further away it is located the better, and it has to be new. Imagine you take a camera. What kind of pictures are you taking?
Everything around us is interesting, so many things seem worth preserving in our digital memory.
And we always look up. The sky is blue. I've never noticed it being so blue at home.
Do you ever look up when you're walking to work for the 100th time this year? Or do you just walk straight to get there in the shortest way possible, even cutting corners whenever possible?
I bet that if you had someone walk by your side, someone who's never been there before, who is used to buildings which look different to those surrounding you now. They would keep their heads up! And take plenty of pictures. And think that the sky is bluer where you are.
New is different. Different means an experience. But what we need to learn is to draw excitement from the lives we already have. I would just like to make sure that you understand me - I am not telling everyone to quit moving from country to country. Some people might want to do it for different reasons and whatever they are, I am sure they can figure them out and assess the gains and the losses of being constantly on the move.
But in my case, I had an obsession with starting over. New place. Fresh start. It happened so that, as a child, I changed schools many times. As a result I was so used to starting in a new environment, and with new people, that I just kept going and the moment I turned 18 (and could travel alone) I started moving across Europe.
Someone wise suggested I was looking for something. Something I couldn't, apparently, find in one place.
You don't know the change is there until it's done.
I don't know when it happened. I don't know how it happened. I know who's presence in my life helped me make it happen.
But the truth is things have changed and now I am ready to travel and experience together, without the need to terrorize myself by constant packing of all my things into boxes and moving places three times a year. I now lived in one house for almost a year and have an extension contract signed for another. I have not lived anywhere for so long since I was 16!
And don't misunderstand me. I do think that traveling is the best school there is. You learn responsibility, you learn about communication and you learn many lessons from all sorts of people.
But I think that while moving around a lot I always lived by the timetable of "what's going to happen next." New arrival. Finding a temporary home. Finding the nearest shop. Connecting to Wi-Fi (although in real life that one would probably come before groceries), and then planning a new trip. Almost straight away there was always a list of possibilities at the back of my head. This was yesterday. This will be tomorrow. I could rarely find the real present tense.
This has changed. I keep a list of travel plans. Travel plans. Go and come back. No looking for temporary locations. I learnt to enjoy the 'in-betweenness' of travels. No more postponing of the things I really wanted to do.
Yesterday, I spent the day designing -- super exciting stuff! I baked a rhubarb crumble, sat on a giant bean bag with doors to the garden wide open. A butterfly flew into the room. I sang and danced. I felt really proud when in the evening I could see the progress of my project. And I was excited when I saw my better half coming back home. We had the crumble and enjoyed an episode of Suits. Now those are experiences! Nobody took pictures, there were no hashtags, no celebration and until now nobody knew about it, but My God that was an amazing day!
And if I was planning an exotic trip, the expectation of a great time in a foreign country would probably distract me from realizing that I could be spending every day in that state of happiness while at home.
Life is a funny thing. You usually keep looking far away for things that you could have right next to you.
And this is not to say that I'm not going to travel anymore. Plans are being made as we speak. Over the left-over crumble.
Now it's your turn. Look up! Have you noticed how blue the sky is?
P.S. I took the picture above while on one of my many trips. Italy is highly recommended. Their sky is a superb shade of blue!