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Mind Over Matter: Travel Starts With You

by Ekaterina Netchitailova Jul 17, 2009
Your mental state plays a surprisingly strong role in your perception of place, as revealed in the personal experience of Ekaterina Petrovna.

Travel is not just a physical experience. It is a state of mind, a life journey. And it can be all kinds of different things to different people.

Some of us travel all the time, some of us travel occasionally, and some of us only travel in their heads.

For some, it’s an exploration of museums in Florence, or a week at the beach in the Canaries, or a spiritual retreat in India. And some travel while staying where they are.

Travel is often an escape, a relaxation, a search, a dream. Many people work the whole year long thinking about their holiday. Some try to get away every weekend. Others plan a trip to a different country as soon as time and money permit it. And there are those who are on the road all the time.

But whatever is the destination, whatever is the journey, usually all of us have a place called home. A place where we rest before traveling again, or simply the place where we were born.

And quite often, we fail to see its beauty.

We talk about other destinations. We often dream of a better place, a better life, a different country, another journey. But how often do we talk about enjoying the place called home?

Your Inner Journey

Travel, you may have noticed, is directly related to the state of our minds.

Travel has only to do only you, and how you perceive your own existence, your own inner journey.

If we go to Paris on a with the biggest love of our lives, it’s highly unlikely that we won’t enjoy the place. (Paris is actually very difficult not to like, but it happens).

If you go there while you are miserable, you might find that Paris is a very miserable city. Even if you stay at the best hotel and visit the best restaurants, even if you explore the whole Louvre.

The same with other destinations. You might stay at the worst hostel, have your camera stolen, and eat only bread the whole day long…but still enjoy your journey.

And this has nothing to do with the place. It has to do only with you, and how you perceive your own existence.

Osho, the great mystique of the last century said that “beauty lies in the banality of things”. He also said and quite often, that the world’s misery lies mainly in the West. The richest countries in the world is where you find the biggest misery.

Pack Your Baggage

Happy people don’t travel in order to escape. Happy people travel simply because they just love to travel.

And that is why travel starts with you, because whatever your destination, whatever your journey, you always take yourself with you. You always carry your misery or happiness within you.

It happened to me. I visited one of the best cities in the world – Barcelona, and failed to see its beauty.

That’s because I was miserable at that time. My parents, who had brought me there, thought that it would help. I managed to laugh once while being there, but as soon as I came back to Amsterdam (my other home) I was back in my misery. I hated Barcelona. But I hated Amsterdam as well.

But Barcelona was a lesson. It was an opening for my eyes. It was a push to start life-changes in the place where I lived. It was a push to transform the place called home.

Amsterdam became my home. Even if I wasn’t born there, even if I hated it and loved it at the same time.

It became my home because once I was back from Barcelona I realized that it wasn’t the city which I hated, it was my own life.

The Choice

If you feel miserable in your life, you should travel within your own city. Look for another job, find a dancing class near you, discover a new café, find an unusual bookshop, make new friends, or find people who can help you.

The travel which I started in Amsterdam eventually led me to another place, another job. A totally different life in a new country.

You always have a choice, and you always can ask for help. But here’s the key: you need to travel into your inner mind.

We are happy when we have balance in five important spheres of our lives: money, job, relationship, health, and creativity.

One of the main lessons I learned in my life is that you usually always have the money that you need. It’s other spheres of our lives which ask for a bigger effort.

The Value Of Home

My misery is not gone entirely, partly because I still live in the West.

Misery is everywhere, even if people can afford a lot of things, even if they can travel to the Caribbean islands and stay there in the best resorts. Even if they have Internet at home and plan their journey from start to the end with the help of the computer.

You can be the richest person in the world, but fail to enjoy your journey.

You can be the poorest man in the world and still enjoy your journey.

And this is because you know the value of home.

It starts with your soul. And each human soul has an enormous beauty. Each human soul has an exploration, a journey, and a discovery, which can tell you all about life and the world without the necessity to take a plane or a train and go somewhere.

The beauty of the banality of things is what you do in your daily life, and how you perceive the place where you live, and your own inner journey.

Travel starts with you.

What are your thoughts on how your mind influences your perception of travel? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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