The Zen of Real Life

Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” – Bhudda 

I haven’t been able to write for a couple weeks because real life has interfered with travel blogging life. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I write about travel because I love travel. And I travel, not to escape my real life, but to enhance it.

While I occasionally envy those travel bloggers who have made a career of it, I also appreciate the freedom to disconnect both while I travel and live real life.

When I was much younger, I dreamed of being paid to travel. Travel can be so expensive and I thought that getting paid to go overseas would mean that I could have awesome adventures all the time.

I learned a valuable lesson early on while doing a semester abroad in France during high school, which was that although I was in France,  I was still in school and had real responsibilities. It wasn’t a 3-month long backpacking trip, it was real life.

Again, after grad school I did an internship in Mali where I lived real life in a place that was very different than what I was used to. Of course I had some time to be a tourist and take in the sights and sounds of bustling Bamako and enjoyed many weekend escapes in nearby towns, like Siby. But at the end of the weekend, I still had a job to get back to. When you travel for work, you travel on someone else’s dime and someone else’s time. With that in mind, there’s something to be said for travelling on your own time and terms, even if for me it means that I don’t get to travel all the time.

Bamako: a very exciting city to live real life in. 

There’s also something to be said for loving your real life as much as your travelling life. There’s a lot of glamour attached to quitting your job to travel the world, but I can’t help but think that the money needed to travel has to come from somewhere.

For me, finding a balance between the good life at home and exploring as much as possible is key. Doing so means that I get many trips and blog posts to look forward to, and there is Zen in that.

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