Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This has been on my mind a lot recently, the cause and effect theory of commitment fears and (long term) travel. I’ve just taken a lease out on a condo on Bangkok and, in theory, that means I have to remain in one place for the next ten months (whether that proves to be the case is another issue entirely, with trips to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Burma planned in the next 6 months – anyways, I’m digressing). On signing the contract a cold fear enveloped me and know I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that I have a ‘base’ again, albeit only for 10 months.
I appreciate I’ve been traveling, working and studying overseas for 5 years now and with that comes a certain expectation of constantly being on the move, and now that’s ceased temporarily it’s stressing me out! With this recognition, it brought me to the question…
“ Does (long term) travel cause a fear of commitment OR is it an existing fear of commitment within certain people that then causes them to travel (long term)?”
I’m very interested to hear your thoughts on this…
I think it’s fair to say that the general consensus is that travel is good for you, it enlightens us, broadens our minds, helps us take a more holistic view of our lives and the relative ease in which we grew up. I am a huge advocate of travel and believe all of that without doubt. But very few people discuss the potential damage that traveling could cause, what if this lifestyle of ultimate freedom, where a day without a cool new experience is seen as a ‘boring’ day (forgetting the fact that in the ‘real world’ people do the same thing, day in – day out, for decades), causes us to shirk commitment. Living on the road, traveling so much, constantly meeting new and interesting people from all walks of life, our senses being constantly stimulated, new brief relationships burn brightly for a few days but are extinguished before they have a chance to flourish due to the weekly sleeper train leaving Kathmandu tomorrow morning, and you have to be on it! Then when you do re-settle, is something always going to be missing? Can you face a stable (stagnant?) social group and the same job for the next 2, 3, 10 years? Can you meet that one girl/guy and know that they are enough, that they will supply you with the same excitement that you had on the road? If you can, that’s great but if you can’t what then? My question is this – has travel caused that, or was that in your personality long before you booked your ticket?
Personally, I want to have my cake and eat it, every last slice– when I’m on the road, I want to savour every moment, live it and love it but when I settle, for however long, I want to feel satisfied, content and stimulated by that life in its own right. I’m just not sure if it’s possible. I’ll keep you posted.
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