Vacation and Travel Are Not the Same Thing
Just because you left your hometown does not mean you traveled. If you went somewhere with you family, stayed with your family, talked only with your family, and moved between places with only your family, you have not traveled. If you went to an all-inclusive, sat on the beach by yourself, had someone bring you everything, you have not traveled. If you go back to the same place every year, with the same people, and did the same thing, you have not traveled. You went on a vacation.
There is nothing wrong with that.
Vacations are beautiful. They create long-lasting memories with people that you love and cherish. You need R&R to refresh yourself and continue after your dreams.
There are two things that make the difference between traveling and a vacation: comfort and people.
This can be either a physical or emotional comfort. Traveling stretches you. It makes you uncomfortable. It makes you grow. This is certainly not a bad thing. When you are stretched, you find that you are more capable than you previously thought. You summit mini mountains which collectively reveal that you are a more accepting, more adventurous, more appreciative person than you were before the experience.
Comfort is great, but sometimes you need to get a little mud on your boots. Sometimes, you need to not have everything taken care of, and to let yourself be flexible, spontaneous, and challenged.
When traveling, you must meet and interact with the community that surrounds you. You must be more open, and not afraid. You must not compare anything.
Start conversations with strangers. Everyone has something that they can teach you. Make friends on the road. Often you find that despite varying ages and cultural backgrounds, that you are kindred spirits. I find that traveling by yourself or with another person lends best to this.
As usual, Paulo Coelho sums up a good point best:
” Don’t compare anything – prices, standards of hygiene, quality of life, means of transport, nothing! You are not travelling in order to prove that you have a better life than other people – your aim is to find out how other people live, what they can teach you, how they deal with reality and with the extraordinary.”
– Book of Manuals by Paulo Coelho
Traveling is a great teacher. Vacation is a great relaxer. Both rejuvenate, but in dramatically different ways.