The Truth Is, You Find Yourself When You Travel

Wandering feet. That’s how I would describe myself, my life right now. I have wandering feet. Feet that want to explore new places, that want to wiggle foreign sand or squish strange mud between my toes.

It’s the time in my life where I want to be somewhere I haven’t been. Where I want to walk down streets and explore untouched running trails. Where I want to discover who I am, who I can be in a new place.

Traveling, I think, has a bad reputation. There’s such a stereotype, such an expectation that your twenties is the time for traveling. And people either jump on that bandwagon, or hate on it. You have the people who stand behind their wanderlust, and you have the people who will avidly argue that traveling isn’t everything.

I think it’s a mix of both, honestly. You don’t have to travel to live this fulfilled, inspired life. But you have to leave what you’ve always known. Because that’s the only way you grow.

As a 20-something, this is the time where people are either traveling or settling into their adult lives. And you’re either reckless for throwing your money into a trip, or you’re too rigid for starting your full-time career right away. There’s no correct answer.

But traveling, to me, isn’t about going on this across-the-world adventure that costs thousands of dollars. Sometimes it’s as simple as going to a new town, a new city, a sliver of the world that you haven’t yet explored.

Traveling is freeing. It’s allowing yourself to be molded, shaped, transformed by a place that isn’t your home. It’s seeing that the world is so limitless, so inviting, beyond what you’ve always known.

Traveling teaches. It teaches you about the world, but maybe even more importantly, it teaches you about yourself. Your strengths, your limits, your patience, your street-smarts, your ability to think on your feet, your compassion, your love for others, your openness, your confidence, and your connectedness with what’s around you.

Traveling helps you find your passions.

It’s only when you’re miles from home that you discover what you miss, what makes you spark, and what you believe in when no one’s around to hold you accountable.

It doesn’t really matter where you go, it just matters that you do.

Somewhere—even as close as the next town over—just to be in a new place and find who you can become when you’re surrounded by different experiences.

Wandering feet. That’s what I have right now. Not necessarily for huge, expensive excursions around the world, but for a new town, new city, new state. I want to be in new places, taste new foods, meet new people, share new laughter.

I want to see parts of the world I haven’t yet see; I want to discover who I can become when everyone and everything I’ve known isn’t right beside me.

I don’t want to travel just because that’s what I’m ‘supposed to do’ as a 20-something. I don’t want to jump on a bandwagon of something I don’t believe in. I don’t want to throw tons of money at some pointless trip just to say I did it.

I want to travel because at the core of me, I need to explore.
And I need to find a new home, a new sense of self wherever I end up. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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