This is Niamh, Analyzing...
The time that I’ve spent in Brisbane, may have felt, or may have come across, as me being in a selfish frame of mind. The writing I’ve been doing, about making the choices and about all my emotions and about all that I want.. Me, me me, it all was about me. But come to think of it, this whole blog has been along those lines. These past 3 weeks, it’s been more so the case, I reckon. To think of how I’ve been living here in Brisbane; I have indeed been focused on myself. Because there simply was no one else to focus on (apart from trying to make a trip back to Ireland, at the end of February). In many ways I needed this time, to put things into perspective..
What I just picked-up from this paragraph I just wrote: Putting things into perspective, needing to focus on oneself and therefore travelling selfishly??? Bringing up this subject, actually leads my mind towards something I’ve only come to realize, so recently, about travel. People can have many different reasons for travel. Most would say they travel in order to “find themselves”. Or they might not phrase it in such a way, but would instead say: “to grow as a person“ or “to broaden the mind“. Others may have reasons like: “to become independent“, “to see beautiful places” or “to experience the culture”. So many reasons, and most people would never be able to just give the one reason. Instead it’s a combination of a few, with one that overrules. The reasons so different, but all with one thing, or person, should I say, in common: and that’s the self. So some people would say - and my ears have seriously picked-up on people saying these words: “the young adults that are travel-oriented, are acting selfishly“. Selfish? Why? Because it’s all about their own needs and what they want? Because they leave loved-ones behind, family, friends, work, everything? Because they have the goal of becoming so many others things than they felt they were, in that moment of departing from the home front and saying their goodbyes at the airport? Because they leave without thinking of all the people who will miss them? They leave and it SEEMS they wouldn’t even look back and it SEEMS they would never long to be with them, if only just for one day. But how untrue it is to say that travel is an expression of selfishness, even when being posed with all of the questions above. This would mean that living in general is a selfish act, if we follow the chain of the reasons for doing anything in life: which is to feel love and to be happy. Everybody simply has different means of getting to feel and experience those things in life that they value and makes them feel alive.
As I’ve been putting things into perspective, I’ve been seeing things so clearly. I’ll backtrack a little to: The reasons for travel. To travel for an extended period of time with the obvious reason of discovering the world. But if you choose, it’s also to discover yourself, how you can position yourself within this world, what it can offer you and how it can stimulate you and your life. But in order to be in the position of discovering what the world can offer you, don’t you first have to discover what you can offer the world? Doesn’t this principal work along the same lines as: Before loving someone else, you have to love yourself. Before respecting someone else, you have to respect yourself. Before sharing your experience, you have to have lived the experience yourself. Don’t these principles all work the same? So, this makes me see that: Before knowing the world, you have to know yourself. Before seeing the world, you have to SEE yourself. And before giving to the world, you have to give to yourself.
So: If you’ve offered and given to yourself, by focusing on all that you’ve learnt, seen and felt, then you’ve truly seen yourself and then you can see what you can offer the world. You can, in that moment, offer the world what it needs, because you will be able to link the 2 together: the link between what you have to give and what the world needs to receive.
This then leads me to create the next link, which is: The link between selfishness and travel. Is there one? To say travellers are self-centred, is also to say that anybody in the world, whether traveller or not, are selfish in acting out all that they want. Going to college, buying a house, having children. Doesn’t it all come down to the same thing? Isn’t it in actual fact selfless to reflect on your journey, your travels, your experiences? Because you know it will not only serve you but also those who you come into contact with. If “passing-on” and sharing is your dream. Then the act of travel, gives inspiration to pass on. The act of reflection on these experiences, gives passion to pass on. The act of “putting into perspective” how your choices have followed through and effected your overall journey, gives strength to pass on. So selfishness should not hold anybody, even the traveller, in it’s power.
So, to put the puzzle together: Whatever the reason is for travel, it is never of a selfish nature. If so, this would mean living in general is selfish (this is a topic I could analyze for hours, but I won’t bore you with that!!) When travel is taken to another level, it becomes, or has always been, the passion for which one lives. With an open-mind and an open heart, it can not only serve oneself but also every place and person that is encountered along the travellers journey. If travel becomes a life, and if the reason is to share, then the world will work in ways to support that life. Travel will then flow, it will become natural, without any doubt or fear of it ever ending. Because it simply will BE, in that moment, which is a moment that lasts forever (as now IS our “forever”).
The next one goes a little deeper, if it grabs you, read on..