It’s funny how quickly something can turn around. Two weeks ago I was completely fed up with travelling. I had been on the move for four months, and couldn’t bear the thought of getting into another airplane. I was looking forward to a period of rest; to not having to figure out my itinerary each day; to eating familiar foods that I love; to seeing my family and friends of old; to having the time to seriously work on some business projects.
The comfort of home
I spent the past two weeks staying with my family in a small village in the West of the Netherlands. The surroundings are green and peaceful. There is little traffic and the air is clean. When I step outside, the most prominent sound is the rustling of the trees. I can hear the birds twitter, children playing down the street, a sheep bleating, and the only sound of civilization is some highway in the distance.
My parents’ house is large and comfortable. I have my own room, with soft carpeting, a double bed, a desk, a large flatscreen TV with surround sound, and a comfortable armchair. My mom is a great cook, so I am guaranteed excellent food each day. My dad is a wine enthusiast, who introduces me to amazing new wines with each meal. Both my parents are easy-going and tolerant, and they accept it if I live my life at my own pace. This environment is perfect in every way…
Why I travel
…except that it’s not. It’s boring as hell. After the initial joy of seeing my friends and family has worn off, I’m left with little to do but work, go for a walk, and watch TV. It’s a lack of excitement that no level of comfort can make up for.
And this is why I travel. When you travel, you’re never short of exciting things to do. You get to see new places, meet new people, and try new foods every day. You can always make an excursion to a place you haven’t seen yet. You are constantly immersed in a culture that is not your own. It can be exhausting at times, but it’s never boring.
I need this constant change of scenery to stay happy. Not everyone does, and many people react surprised when they learn that I’m moving to yet another country. But I’m at my best when I have a steady stream of new inputs coming at me. It can be a bit of a struggle to balance the need for change with the positive attributes of staying in one place: long-lasting friendships, relationships, peace of mind, and focus. But in the end I’ll take the excitement of travelling over the boredom of one place anytime.