As someone who has spent months working and travelling abroad, the saying “travel changes your life” is a dangerous lie. As much as I love it, the truth is, travel won’t change you, won’t complete you, won’t fulfil you. That’s a dangerous narrative sold to us. Travel can’t make you suddenly become a better person or “find yourself”. You have to do these things yourself.
When I say, “going to america changed me”, that’s not really what I mean. America and the travel wasn’t what changed me. I had the best time, but it didn’t “complete” me. What it did do is teach me that I have to change myself. Walking unknown streets couldn’t have done that for me, it was a process I had to undertake completely by myself.
Travel itself won’t change you, nor will it complete you, you have to want to change yourself. It won’t suddenly change your perspective on everything. It won’t allow you to “find yourself”. Travel is amazing, but it’s not some magical cure to all your demons. It’s not some tool to dispel all that is wrong with you. Travelling is the best thing I’ve ever done, working abroad was the best decision I ever made, but it didn’t wipe away all my problems.
What working abroad did, however, was teach me that I needed to grow up and change my own life and that didn’t come from the seeing of sights, nor the being in another country, but the living and working entirely by myself, knowing no one, being away from everything I knew for months on end, and creating what would become a new home somewhere entirely new.
Travelling in and of itself, as enjoyable as it can be, won’t do that, I know that because I’ve taken many trips that I’ve loved, but they haven’t changed nor completed me. That’s a dangerous lie that people need to stop consuming and believing. You can’t use travel to complete you. You can’t use travel as a crutch to avoid all your demons
Travel, especially short term travel, won’t change you; you have to want to change yourself. Travel in and of itself isn’t the thing that gave me that desire. Being forced to depend on only myself is what have me that desire and that doesn’t have to come from travel.