No. I do not keep traveling because I am running away from something in my life. I am curious; it is more the sensation of running toward something. Being on the road reminds me of my potential. Even in scary situations, I fare much better than my imagination would presuppose. Travel keeps me humble. But I pursue travel opportunities to keep my edge.
“We are all of us, to some degree or another, brainwashed by the society we live in. We are able to see this when we travel to another country, and are able to catch a glimpse of our own country with foreign eyes. There is nothing much we can do about this except to remember that it is so.” — Doris Lessing
It is in my quest to maintain an even perspective that I keep traveling. I want to stay aware. In her book, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, I think Ms. Lessing said it eloquently. Still, it is a notion that is challenging to articulate. Returning home from a 3-week trip in late 2002, I was amazed at the extent of the fear mongering in the USA after the 9/11 attack. Just three weeks of not hearing we were in Code Orange or Code Yellow, just three weeks of not hearing the subway intercom announcement warning, “If you see something, say something,” is all it took for me to exhale and take better stock of what was happening. It’s one thing to live in the midst of that, but another not to realize that this is in large part responsible for your elevated anxiety. In fact, I don’t think I had realized how keenly anxious I had become until I returned home and realized I wasn’t as anxious any more. For those hedging about it, there is another reason to take a trip!
That is how I look at it. But others may disagree. Pema Chödrön wrote: “Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.” And Thomas Fuller reminded us: “If an ass goes traveling he will not come home a horse.”
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb