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I was terrified before I got onto the plane, even though it was bound for my dream destination.

I was worried even though I knew about the beautiful things that awaited me here.

Why? I’m not entirely sure. I just know that my head fills with everything that could go wrong. It fills up until I’m so fogged with anxiety I would much rather stay home. It feels odd to type that sitting in a hotel in Osaka, but it’s true.

Perhaps that was the moment I really questioned whether, despite working in travel, I’m really a traveller. I love culture, but I hate being squished into an economy class cabin. I value the art, but I loathe the inconveniences and time delays. I’m here, and I love it. But I’m only here as it was a perk of the job. Is it my own awful tendency towards passivity that stops me from being a traveller, or is it simply not something I am drawn to? I mean the benefits of travel are fantastic, but it’s also very expensive. It takes a lot of time. Do the pros really outweigh the cons?

Being here has taken my mind off all the silly little pointlessnesses of work. With physical distance comes some mental detachment.

I hope the next 10 days, as I travel across Japan, will bring me wonderful new experiences. But the worst thing, the thing I see all around me, are simply people who use travel as a means to escape their day to day life. It’s easy to pass off being well travelled as being enlightened, but in my finding they’re not the same thing. I don’t want to be a person who lives for the weekend. I don’t want to be that person who saves money to “find themselves” once a year by going travelling.

I want to be the person who loves their day to day life. Who finds interest in their friends, their career, their partner. Who is contented and successful. I want those to be the things that thrill and fulfil me, not finding escape in something I buy, even if that something is the loaded word “travel”.

 

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