Being a frequent traveler can give you unsurpassed joys to feed your body, mind, and soul… as long as you do not limit traveling to “physical geo trips”.
I’m not proposing joining a new (classical) frequent-traveler program. I’m not promoting any airline. I’m just “extending” the frequent traveler concept to other very important facets of life.
The dialogue could probably run as following:
- Why do people become “frequent travelers”?
- To earn something.
- Miles, free nights at hotels, car rentals, various presents, new trips (they cannot normally afford) etc.
So, they earn things that would cost them some money to buy themselves.
Correct? Not exactly.
Traveling & the (atypical) definition … of wealth
Money or money-dependent benefits are important. I’m sure we all value them. They – usually – make us more comfortable, happier, in a way richer. But is money the proof of wealth, is money the real essence of being rich?
I wholeheartedly support that the one thing in life to make you richer (mentally and – maybe – practically) is … “traveling”. Do not search further for any secret tips, gimmicks, best practices, pieces of thoughtful advice, professional skills etc. that will provide you with the magical recipe of wealth. It is traveling! Traveling around places, traveling around jobs (= experiencing various working environments), traveling around (parts of) societies (= participating in several social teams), traveling among people and with people (= meeting new people). Traveling from your “here-today” to your “there-tomorrow”.
Traveling as THE way to become richer has to do with my stubborn translation of wealth:
(Useful-to-human-nature) wealth = many experiences useful-to-(relatively short) human-life
I do not argue that you do not make or pursue money, but even if you become a billionaire you still need quite some experiences to spend your fortune appropriately (= enjoying happiness through it).
Going around is the secret. Traveling. Seeing new places of the world. Smelling new odors. Listening to new sounds. Touching new stones. Feeling new sentiments. Bearing new thoughts. Meeting new people. Obtaining new experiences. Pursuing new challenges. Making new mistakes. Learning. And learning. And learning.
This is what will give real substance to your life, creative ways to realize your dreams, boundless resilience to any difficulties you might come across.
Stay here or go (every) there?
Well, that’s a tough decision. You need to decide on your priorities of life. You need to clear down what your desires are. You might prefer the safe feeling of the known – and that’s ok. But there are consequences, too. You abide to the rule of “being happy with what you have” (in case you do not have too much…). You accept the boredom of the usual. You avoid risks, on the other hand. None will blame you for that. It’s more common than going around. By the way, if you are a little clever, “staying here” might easily give you the title of “the best among those who stayed”. Even if they are not high-caliber human beings, it doesn’t matter. You’re still “the best”. Who cares among whom?
In case you prefer new, exciting experiences, in case you don’t care to be “the best” (probably among mediocre ones), in fact, in case you enjoy living in the top place but not being the top guy, go for it! Search for the better, enjoy the new, understand the different. And do not regret effort, do not cry for triumph, do not seek for wide (is it worthwhile???) acceptance. Travelers seek for the experience, not for the status!
Aspects of…the two sides
“Stay here” might mean you do not leave your birthplace to go study in another city, you do not marry a non-native, you do not change jobs unless you are fired or tortured, you do not try new tastes, you follow traditions, you do not innovate, you do not trust anything different, anything modern. You lose a lot, but … you are safe. And calm. It’s a choice well respected.
On the other hand, if you are not happy with what you have, if you want to enrich your experiences, if you want to increase your knowledge, if you are “ready to lose the game”, off you go! You are a genuine “go-there” personality type. Traveling will evidently add to what you pursue in life. But remember: challenge will be your relentless partner and resilience the skill you need to develop the most.
I empathize with the “here-stayers”. I understand their need to make “safe progress”, to compete with the less competent ones and thrive. I respect their choice, but I obviously do not agree with it.
I admire the frequent travelers of life. They are brave, they take challenges, they detect opportunities, and they are crazy enough to constantly bet on new adventures.
When asked “what is your purpose in life”, we often feel obliged to give a “weighty”, philosophical reply to include high values and top targets.
But, put simply, is there any higher, most important purpose in life other than traveling all the time, all the way, in all possible ways? Isn’t the mere essence of life – of this wonderful and unexpected present we were given when born – a trip? And isn’t it true that experiences consist the only not-easy to lose, real fortune you can gain on earth?