Are you a different person when traveling?
The Travel and Adventure Show was in town this past weekend. Well, it took place in Long Beach which is relatively close to consider it part of “town”.
My husband and I were really excited because Andrew Zimmern was one of the principal speakers. Hope you know who I am talking about. You know, Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods. The TV show where this guy goes around the world eating all sort of nasty and repulsive dishes (if they can be called dishes at all). Yes, that guy.
I have to confess we are complete fanatics of his show. We have watched nearly every episode (except the ones that are not available in Netflix).
Well, it turns out half of the Los Angeles residents were also really excited about meeting Andrew. When he got down the stage, a huge crowd jumped over him. The lines to get his autograph were insane. So bummer, I wasn’t able to meet or greet him. Maybe I need to practice how to be a better stalker or something in between.
However, during his talk he discussed why he loves to travel. His reasons resonated inside my head and I want to share them with you.
Andrew said he travels because he is a totally different person when he is roaming the world. When at home, all he thinks is about how to make himself more comfortable. He doesn’t really feel like exploring new restaurants, neighborhoods or sights because that is complicated. It is easier to go to the same places he knows over and over again. Those actions take him to a state he dislikes. On the contrary, while on the road, he doesn’t have a lot of time to think about himself. He is busy learning about other countries, eating new foods or meeting new friends. These realities fill up his mind. In summary, he likes better the man he is on the road.
Of course, this is not exactly what Andrew said but I think I captured the general idea. This all got me thinking, am I a different person when I travel?
Maybe this is the reason why more and more people are traveling nowadays. The challenges of dealing with a different language, navigating thru unknown streets or contemplating new places get us excited, get us pumped up, get us dreaming. People get addicted to these sensations and want to experiment them every day.
For some reason (and for most of us), the adrenaline rush dies once we get home. We call it routine. There is no reason to feel joy, motivation and/or enthusiasm. Our environment is so well known that we don’t really feel like changing it. Comfort is all we think about.
All this reaffirms more what I have thought for a long time. Travel by itself wouldn’t be so desirable without the feeling it gives people. I truly believe we can get that travel feeling every day. However, we need to make a conscientious effort to make the changes that would take us to the place we want to be.
I think I am a bit different when I travel. Nevertheless, I don’t want travel to be an escape from a boring and unfulfilled life. Every day I make an effort to get out of my comfort zone. I want to be closer to the self I am when traveling which may be the real me (this does not apply only to travel, replace the word travel with the activity you absolutely love to do, that one where you feel most alive).
Thanks Andrew for giving me some great ideas to think about. Also, many thanks for the jellyfish salad you brought for the audience. I tried a little bit and have to say I liked it. Well, maybe that was my “out of the comfort zone” moment for Saturday.
What about you? Are you a different person when you travel? If so, what does that means? Let me know in the comments section below.