I'm leaving for a spontaneous trip in a few hours. A friend and I booked tickets to Bora on a whim (they were pretty cheap!) a few weeks ago, and we'll be away from the hustle and bustle of Manila for a few days. Most people would be thrilled! I'm actually less thrilled than I thought I would be. Don't get me wrong -- I'm looking forward to the trip, but I'm not all jittery like I usually am about out-of-town trips.
Truth is, I'm not one of those "LET'S TRAVEL!!!", "LET'S GO OUT OF TOWN!!" types. I'm a cheapskate, and I don't enjoy spending thousands of pesos on two- or three-day trips. Of course, I'd like to see more of the world, but I'd really rather just sit around at home on my fat ass writing or playing video games. But I figured I'd go on this one trip because 1) I've never been to Bora, and 2) I do still want to say that I've done something with my life and that I've been places.
GAdventures.com did a survey for the International Day of Happiness to try and see just how connected traveling is to our individual happiness. I can't say that the results came as a surprise, but they were rather startling -- just because I hadn't realized how big a part traveling actually plays in our lives.
Personally, I think these people need to get their priorities straightened out.
What's the point of traveling if you have nothing to come home to?
Think about it: You go out of town every month, but then you come back home to a shitty job, debts that can't be paid because you don't earn enough, and foreclosures and rent payments.
This reinforces an idea I've always had: when pursuing their happiness, people need to act responsibly. A few years back, while I was writing my thesis, I experienced this firsthand. I was living the life -- getting drunk almost every day, procrastinating, meeting new people, going places -- until my hedgehog died and I realized that all I was doing was running. I was happy, but for how long? Sooner or later, the real world would catch up to me, and I'd be caught dead in my tracks, staring a car's headlights right in the face.
46% of GAdventures.com's respondents, when asked what their perfect kind of destination was, said that they needed to keep moving. 50% spent an hour a day at work fantasizing about traveling. 61% said they wanted more days off to travel.
Maybe this need to get out of here and go see new places and experience new cultures just stems from a fear of complacency -- of being stuck in one place for the rest of your life, and not really doing much to get out of the gutter. Of just being content with what we have, and not striving for anything better.
For some, this wanderlust could be a sign of maturity. After all, people need to be even just a little bit mature to be able to leave the nest and go forth into the great wilderness. But I guess most of the time, it's a sign of immaturity, of not wanting to face the facts and live with the daily grind.
Life is what we make of it, I guess. Some of us would rather spend every week in a different hotel, in a different hammock, in a different bed. But some of us can appreciate staying at home and curling up with a good book.
What does your wanderlust say about you? Think about it.