Travel to escape or to seek?

 

travel

While I was packing to come to Toronto in October, I did not know what to expect. I just knew that I was finally realizing my dream of living abroad. Everything else was put in the back burner. I had put up with the critics, raised a few eyebrows and disregarded my fear of the unknown. “Are you sure you want to take that leap?” I kept being asked. But, my mind was already elsewhere…I had been wanderlust for a while and holding back was out of question. Tomorrow was foreign and enticing.

Three months later…Do I regret it? No! But, lately I have been asking myself a few questions. Namely the motivation behind the desire to go abroad. “So what brings you here? “, Is the recurring question I get from people who come from other countries too. We all come here with our stories and our motivations. Sometimes it is economical, sometimes it is just to follow our love one…What motivated me to travel 15,264 km away from my home country?

I read somewhere that you either travel because you are seeking something or because you are trying to escape something. So, am I a fugitive or a seeker? Either possible scenario raises a question: What am I escaping? Or what am I seeking? Are these questions really worth my time or am I just making a fuss of nothing?

See, there are so many cliches about travelling. We are led to believe that it gives you endless possibilities. So, we end up idealizing leaving it all behind as if it was the solution to our struggle. We think that the place we are in is not the right one so, we pack our bags, bide goodbye and move to another country. And of course with hope that our issues will just vanish by magic. But here is the thing: this is just bullshit. Traveling will not take care of your issues. Chances are, you will be bringing them with you. So, just scratch that option.

I think that I fall in the second category. I am the seeker. But, not with the typical line “I went abroad to find myself”. I opted for life abroad because of the promise of freedom it offered. It is only when you are miles away from home that you discover what you miss the most, what makes your heart beat, who you really are when no one is around to keep you grounded.

I have learned so many things about myself during these three months. I am allowing my new environment to mold me, shape me and transform me. All while remaining true to myself. Life abroad has shown me my strength, my weakness and my ability to think on my feet.

Everything I have learned so far can be sum up by Cesare Pavese’s quote: “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it”.

How about you? What motivated you to go abroad? Are you the fugitive or the seeker? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below ;). Cheers 🙂

 

 

 

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Navigating life abroad

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Not so long ago, I was googling Canada and making a list of things to do. Toronto seemed enticing with its multiculturalism, food, accents, languages and people of different nationalities. Everything held the promise of tolerance and diversity.

And before I knew it, here I was in Toronto. My life packed in three suitcases and my heart pounding. I still remember being awed and a little frightened as the city stretched before me.

I can’t believe that 72 days have passed since I first set foot in this country. All I can say is that it has been a roller coaster of emotions. From dealing with homesickness to the thrill of finally living abroad and realizing my dream. Truth be told: I am both happy and sad. I guess that I am navigating through my life’s major transition. Home is now behind me and the world awaits ahead…

I kept being asked why I took that leap. Would it suffice to say that wanderlust took over me? Once upon a time, a Mauritian was bored in her island…So, she decided to move 15,808 km from home to spice up her life. I guess I needed to shuffle my surrounding. Blame it on my gypsy soul.

Sometimes I feel like I neither belong here, nor there. I carry my country in my heart while I’m adapting to the ways of living in Canada. The fast-lane life, the coffee culture, the new way of greeting and the slang. I have been listening, observing and adapting. I feel like I have lived in two countries and sampled two different ways of life. As if, I am caught between two worlds.

I am unlearning, relearning, improvising, stepping out of my comfort zone and dealing with the unexpected. New places, new habits, new challenges and new people. Starting anew is thrilling, terrifying and oddly addictive.

And I found myself saying that the future looks good. But then comes the nagging question: where do I want to spend my life? And then I go back to Rachel Wolchin’s quote: “If we were meant to stay in one place we would have roots instead of feet”. Only the future will tell…

If you want to share about your experience, feel free to leave a comment below.