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Are long-forgotten dreams of travel the key to your happiness?

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In the society we live in, it's very easy to get caught up in the same rhythm that our friends and colleagues seem to follow. From a young age, we are encouraged to find work, get a partner, settle down, seek promotions and buy a house. After that, it is encouraged that we seek a bigger house, more children, and a better-paying job; but in many cases, this doesn't lead to any sense of greater health and wealth in the most natural sense. And why is this?

For some, the above scenario represents security and following family tradition; and in turn, you could, by all means, lead a long and prosperous life. But for some, there will always be the nagging sense that something is missing, an old dream that once burnt fierce but has now been forgotten, such as the desire to travel. Here are a couple of lessons learnt from long-distance travel.

Learning to live without

It becomes easy to forget that there are different worlds beyond our shores, and the people living in those distant lands are not so lucky to enjoy the sorts of physical goods that we have come to take as basic living essentials.

Many nations are just experiencing the widespread use of mobile phones. In many cases, the technology they use is a decade or more behind what First World nations have. So just because they don't have the newest iPhone or Android, does that mean they are in some way less happy than us? No! Of course not, instead they may appreciate the value that item brings but don't necessary let it control their perceived social wealth. In turn, when you travel to remote places, you will find that you have less access to all of the modern technology and gadgets that you use every day back home. Going a week or month without looking at Facebook or Instagram could do wonders for your self-image.

Find yourself

This phrase is so often mocked and ridiculed as the typical hippy mantra or phrase that any backpacker uses to explain their reasons for a 2-year trail across South East Asia, but despite it's corniness it is true. It doesn't mean you will come home with your hair in braids and preaching free love and judging your old friends for the way they live their lives. What it means is that you can take yourself back through the years and start to hopefully realise what it is that you want out of life in the most basic form. Be that to raise a family, start a charity and give back or open up a bakery. It doesn't matter. But by being away from your natural culture and letting go of what you once thought the norm, you can quickly start to remember old dreams and have a better idea of who you want to be and what will be the most fulfilling way to spend your days once back home.

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