Taking a Break From Travelling Taught Me a Lot

What do you mean you're not going travelling this summer? That seemed to be the question of the 2017. I had returned from my trip to Eur...

What do you mean you're not going travelling this summer? That seemed to be the question of the 2017. I had returned from my trip to Europe few weeks early at the start of the year and I hadn't left home ever since. It was hard for people, who had learned to know me as a traveller, to understand why I had suddenly stopped roaming the world and made no plans for any of the holidays this year. I got that. I was the person who went to places people could not point out in the map, did cool stuff and came back with dozens of stories to amaze people and make them want to travel and now all the sudden I was the one who stayed at home.

2017 was complex. It was without a doubt the most difficult year of my life and I can't remember ever feeling so lost and miserable. For the first time in years I did however, also feel like I was happy with the life I was living and felt no need to escape it. Funnily enough, both of these were reasons why I stopped travelling for almost a year. The thing is that life can be a bitch sometimes. It can kill your passion but it can also be so great that you simply don't want to leave home.

Hi, I'm Jasmin. I'm the girl who used to spend all my free time and money roaming across the globe and writing about her adventures. This year I visited three countries, two of which I call home. Here's the story of what happened last year and how taking a break from travelling ended up teaching me a lot.




Life changes can kill your passion

Even though I had always identified myself as a solo traveller I had spent the past few years travelling with my ex boyfriend. It had come to the point that there were more places in the world I had been with him that I had been without, and quite frankly most of my happiest memories were from those two years when I was travelling with him. And then we broke up. There are break ups and then there are break ups and this one was definitely the latter. Without going too much into details my life got to the point when someone could have offered me a free trip around the world and I would have said no. I had plans of returning to Asia over the spring holidays or alternatively going to explore western Scotland by bicycle but I cancelled them all. I rejected an offer for student exchange in Hong Kong that I had dreamed about ever since I started university.

I wanted to travel but on the other hand I didn't. I wanted to explore the world but at the same time I didn't want anything to do with travelling. Most importantly, I felt like I wasn't mentally ready to hit the road again. I simply couldn't put my head in a space where I could have left everything that had happened behind and go and enjoy the thing I loved most in the world: travelling. I turned into a complete mess whenever I spent too much time alone and travelling was a constant reminder of the past relationship. Going solo travelling didn't really seem like a good plan, did it? I sometimes ended up scrolling through Secret Flying and looking at cheap flight deals to the other side of the world but deep down I always knew I wasn't gonna go.

It is funny how things get better with time and how life brings us when we least expect them. It was the start of the summer, I had just returned to Finland for the holidays and had finally started to get over the break up when I accidentally stumbled across a travel blog. I had stopped writing at the start of the year and suddenly came to realize how much I had missed it all. Reading other people's blogs reminded me of the times when I dreamed someday being able to make a living, or at least part of it, by writing and creating content. I decided to not only go back into blogging but that it was time to bring my travel blog to another level. I created a new blog, swapped to English, bought myself a domain and spent dozens of hours googling how to master SEO and create traffic. I was ready.





I stopped looking for happiness in travelling when I found it at home

Funnily enough, after few months of writing and hundreds of hours spent on the blog it was time to return to Scotland and to my greatest suprise, for the first time, after living in here for two years I felt happy. In fact, I was so happy and enjoyed my life so much in here that I simply didn't have time for writing. My days were filled with people, laughter and happiness, and I didn't feel like writing a blog was worth sacrificing those moments. In fact, I was so happy that I suddenly didn't even miss travelling.

The thing is that travelling has always been, to some extent, an escape for me. When I've been unhappy with my life at home I've jumped on a plane and sought happiness elsewhere. I've always found it in places, people and things I've experienced far away from home. I have never really felt homesick during travelling because travelling has been my happy place and home has represented problems and everything else I wanted to run away from. Now when I had nothing to run away from, I didn't feel like I needed to seek happiness elsewhere.

Despite how happy I was I did however end up going travelling at the end of the year but for all the wrong reasons. I couldn't figure out anything else to do for holidays so I booked flights to the cheapest destination I could find. The whole trip felt forced and I was ready to go home after couple of days. My life had come to a point when travelling started to feel like a routine and that wasn't cool. I decided that I was done with travelling for the sake of travelling and from now on I'd only travel when I truly wanted to go and see the world, immerse myself in the local places and meet new people, not when I couldn't figure out what else to do with my life.




It's okay not to travel 

Travelling has always been and will probably always be the thing I love most in the world. For the first time I have however, come to realize that is also okay to take a break from travelling. It might sound silly but when you've spend years of your life unconsciously building your identity around being a traveller, it can be hard suddenly not to be one. It is hard look yourself from another perspective and ask yourself: What else am I, other than a traveller? It is good to remember that

Last year has also thought me lots of other things.

It reminded me that despite the great influence that travelling often have in people's lives, there is much more to a person. I am so much more than just a traveller. Last year has been a good reminder that there are other things in life than just travelling. Happiness doesn't only come from travelling but there are so many other things in my life that I should enjoy. I've remembered that it doesn't really matter what people think about you and it is okay. It is okay not to be that travel girl that everyone thinks you are because in the end it doesn't really matter what people think about you as long as you're happy. Last year has also reminded me that travelling can be and should be so much more than an escape from reality. It should give you goosies, make you laugh and create those moments that you will still remember after decades. It should never feel like a routine and when it does, something very precious has been lost.

Taking a break from travelling doesn't have to be the end of it all. There are still hundreds of places I want to visit and I'm still the girl who is gonna live the life to it's fullest. I'm still the girl who dreams of round the world trip when she graduate and who still wants to see the Salt Lakes in Bolivia, hike in Patagonia, see the bazaars of Morocco, sleep in the Saharan desert, take open the mountains in Nepal,  experience Iranian hospitality, see the Tibetan India and return back to home in China. There will be a time and place for it and I will be ready. And until then I will be pouring my heart and soul into writing about all those places and experiences that changed my life when I was travelling. 


Ever took a break from travelling for one reason or another?

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Olipa tosi hyvin kirjoitettu teksti, johon pystyin jollain tasolla samaistumaan itsekin! Ero kyllä pistää aina elämän ihan sekaisin (been there, done that), mutta onneksi siitäkin pääsee yli. Itse opin viime vuoden reppureissuilla sen, että musta tuskin koskaan tulee sitä reppureissaajaa, joka on reissun päälllä vuositolkulla putkeen, vaikka sellaisesta olin haaveillutkin. En kuitenkaan kokenut sitä rutiinitonta, jatkuvasti vaihtuvaa elämäntyyliä pidemmän päälle omakseni, vaikka 5kk mittaisesta reissusta nautinkin. Itselle myös tää Skotlantiin muutto oli muutos, joka aiheutti sen, että yhtäkkiä olin tosi onnellinen ja iloinen ihan arkisia juttuja tehdessä, eikä mielessä käynytkään jonnekin reissaaminen. Oikeastaan ekaa kertaa elämässäni mulla oli useamman kuukauden mittainen vaihe, kun en odottanut ja suunittelut tulevaa, vaan keskityin oikeasti ihan 100% siihen mitä on tässä ja nyt. Mutta toisaalta nyt, kun elämä alkaa olla jo aika tuttua ja rutinoitunutta täällä, niin huomaan klikkailevani itseni momondoon tai matkablogeihin useammin ja useammin - kyllä se kaukokaipuu sieltä taas ennen pitkää nostaa päätään.

    Mutta aivan ihana kirjoitus tämä siis kaiken kaikkiaan ja hienoa itsetutkiskelua :) Reissaajan identiteettiään on kyllä tosi hankala kyseenalaistaa, tiedän sen itsekin, mutta joskus sekin on ihan tervettä vaihtelua, sillä vaikka matkustaminen mahtavaa onkin, niin elämässä on kyllä paljon muitakin upeita asioita.

    P.s. Ois kyllä hauska joskus tavata sut ihan kasvotusten nyt, kun samassa maassa kerran ollaan! Vois kai sitä "kotimaanmatkailua" alkaa harrastamaan, kun tää Skotlannin tutkiminen on vähän myös jäänyt, kun Edistäkin on löytynyt tähän mennessä riittävästi tekemistä ja nähtävää :D

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    1. Kiitti! Mä oon heitelly yleensä semmosia kolmen kuukauden pätkiä ja koskaan ennen ei oo tullut sellasta fiilistä et haluisin lähteä vielä kotiin, mut ainakin tällä hetkellä on sellaset fiilikset että jos ja kun tulevaisuudessa tekee pidempää reissua niin haluisin kuitenkin jonnekin pysyvämmän tukikohdan mihin palata enkä suhata osoitteesta ja maasta toiseen vailla mitään määränpäätä. Mulla oli ekat puolitoista vuotta täällä järjetön kaipuu pois, nyt sit näköjään toisinpäin mikä on sinänsä hyvä koska Skotlantia on tullut nähtyä ihan liian vähän ja kaukomaiden sijaan voi sit keskittyä kiertelemään tätä maata ympäri.

      Niin olis! Siis mulla on ollut niin huono omatunto kun en muistanu koskaan vastata siihen sun kommenttiin sun Aberdeenin visiitistä :D Mä laitan sulle facessa viestiä!

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  2. Tämä oli ihanaa vaihtelua matkakertomuksiisi, vaikka ne ihania ovatkin.
    On ihan ok olla matkustamatta, jos siltä tuntuu. :) Luulen, että jos itsensä jollain tapaa pakottaa siihen, siitä ei nauti yhtä paljon kuin vaikka äkkilähdön jälkeen.

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    1. Joo on kyllä ollut ihan eri fiilikset lähteä sellaisille reissuille mistä on oikeesti unelmoinut kuin lähteä ihan vaan sen suurempaa syytä! Kiva jos tykkäsit :)

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