Long-term travel or moving abroad can get a bad rep sometimes. Like the person doing it is actually running away from something instead of dealing with whatever it is that haunts them.
But is running away a bad thing?
Life is short, so if there’s something bothering you that can be solved by a change of scenery, why not do it???
When I first moved to Germany, I was essentially running away too.
I had a full-time job in uptown Toronto, a 20% downpayment for my first condo, was pre-approved for a huge mortgage, and I was working with a realtor whom I liked and trusted.
After a few weeks of looking, I made my first offer on a 1 bedroom + den that was in an old building edging towards the bad side of town, had high maintenance fees with almost no amenities, the place needed some cosmetic sprucing up, and best of all, it would take me 30 years to pay off!
There were 5 registered offers and the place sold for 20% more than asking.
When I lost the bid, I started to panic. It suddenly occurred to me that I was doing something very wrong and that not winning the bid was a HUGE gift.
It completely stopped me in my tracks and made me THINK.
Soon after, I quit my job, weaselled my way into grad school, and moved to Germany.
To say I freaked out was a bit of an understatement.
I don’t regret running away to Germany. My life has changed so profoundly since I made the move, and though I am less happy here (it’s true – more on this in another entry), it got me into a different mindset and dared me to question what I was ‘supposed’ to do.
Now as I sit here thinking about why I want to travel/move away from Germany, it is clear.
You know that saying that you can be happy anywhere? It’s not true.
There are lots of places in the world where you wouldn’t be happy, even if you tend toward being happy. That’s fine, it just takes some effort to figure out where your ideal location is.
For me, I have no idea at the moment. But would like to try being in a warmer climate, surrounded by luscious fruits, lots of sunshine, biking opps, and a thriving vegan scene. It couldn’t hurt!
I embrace running away, because staying to fight is overrated.