Our lives are informed by a perpetual stream of content and information. The internet is the pixelated equivalent of that party you find yourself dreading, but despite this, can't seem to let yourself miss otherwise: Upon arrival and warranted or not, you're bombarded with questions, comments and concerns. In this case, the internet's saving grace is the built-in ESCAPE button that's quite literally at our fingertips. But in matters of offline pursuits, well, that's another story.
I find myself at a loss with how much I'm exposed to online. As much as I enjoy living vicariously through friends and peers who are in full-on exploration mode and leading new lives abroad, there is a present (and seemingly constant) reminder to get the soul-searching out of your system while you're young... After all, when are you ever going to have the chance for a sweet escape, if not now?
I'm not saying to settle or to harness your curiosity by any stretch! But it seems we've confused the allure of discovery with the reality of distance. The accessibility of being so connected has created a pretty hefty expectation of fulfilling the solace we crave when yearning for a change of scenery. Yet one of the most rewarding aspects of discovering a new place is experiencing it at it's most natural state. Especially when things feel the complete opposite in our own lives.
With that being said, I wholeheartedly believe travel and exploration are a necessary part of life. In fact, I can't wait to really see the world for myself. But after 3 states and 15+ moves later (plus intermittent travel in between), I've come to realize how important it is to stay in one place for an extended period of time. When you're able to do this, you soon realize that you can commit to building a life with longevity.
Give yourself the opportunity to:
Build your network:
Of people, professionals, support... You get the point. It's easy to forget the importance that comes with not only valuing yourself, but those around you. If you stay in one place long enough you'll have more of an opportunity to strengthen these bonds. Absence makes the heart grow fonder is only applicable to a certain extent.
Contribute to your community:
The more time you spend in a certain place, you'll be able to better understand what you can do to give back. Life is a two-way street and if we can establish an understanding of how to appropriately provide for our community, then sky's the limit in terms of what we can individually accomplish. It's hard to personally thrive when those around you are struggling.
Get to know yourself:
Having an element of structure and consistency can reap huge reward, even for those who believe there is no better way to live, then on the edge. One of things I've really been trying to do through my website The Style Line, is explore the dynamics between people and their environments. Based on these stories alone, it's amazing to see how much synergy there is between one's environment and their personal and professional success.
Find your strength:
And in turn make your community stronger. As much as I advocate for the individual, there is great responsibility that comes with individual pursuits, which poses the question: How are your dreams and in turn, decisions impacting the landscape as whole? Considering what your community has to say will offer new insight and will ultimately strengthen your personal values and point of view. No one can succeed as an island.
Travel informs much of our perspective and our pursuits, but let's not forget to think about what motivates our movement throughout the world. Thanks to our global interconnectedness we can be together even when we're a part. Yet, at the end of the day there's no greater success then finding a place with people you are connected to... And one that you can call home.
A version of this story was originally published by Rachel Schwartzmann on The Style Line's tumblr on August 13, 2014