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To travel or not to travel

Not to toot my own horn, but by the age of 25 I had been to something like 40 countries. I had made it a part of my life, and now that I haven’t been to a new country in a while, I feel like a part of me is eroding and missing. Now, I do know how privileged this sounds, and how lucky I have been to travel that much. That doesn’t mean I can’t miss it and appreciate everything that I have been able to do either.

I can also admit that I used quite a bit of that travelling to escape. I used it to feel better than others, more cultured, more dare-devilish, more whatever than others that didn’t want to travel. Not those who couldn’t, but those who wouldn’t want to even if they could because they were scared or intimidated by it. How arrogant is that? I may not be proud of those thoughts, but they are a part of my psyche just as much as the kind, generous, and warm thoughts are.

To get back to the travelling, I really struggle with not having gone somewhere new, and it troubles my peace of mind. I do know that I could just leave whenever, but there’s a catch…

Remember how I said I used the travelling to escape at some point? Well, travelling has more than one advantage to it. Yes, I could explore new places, meet new people, see new things, push my boundaries (although at that time there wasn’t much I wouldn’t do…), but more than that I could reinvent myself at any turn. Nobody knew me, nobody knew who I was, what I did, or anything about me. I could be whatever I wanted. I tried to fight my addiction, to control my using and my drinking, but that I couldn’t change. I mean for a few days, maybe weeks I could be fine, but as soon as I could my “care-free” travel-buggy lifestyle always fell back to the bottle, the cigarette, or the drugs. Whatever I could get my hands on really. I used to say or pretend to be “free-spirited”, but I needed to drink or drug.

I would skype with loved ones at times when I wasn’t tanked enough yet to let it show. I would drink in front of them, and praise internet connections for being shitty and images blurry.

No matter how far away I could get, I would always go back to my old friends; drugs and more importantly alcohol. That is why now I am troubled by travelling even more. I love it all so much, but I am totally scared of falling back into old habits. This is one of my heartbreaks at the moment…

In the world of recovery there is such a thing as a “Geographical Cure”; it is the acting upon a desire to move to a new place to find a cure or some resolve from drug and alcohol abuse. The thought generally goes something like: “I can’t live like this anymore! I know what I’ll do, I’ll go to a new city/country/continent to get away from it all and start over!”. Needless to say, that it is seldom an enduring solution to addiction.

What about you? Have you ever tested the geographical cure? How did that work for you?

Thank you for reading this far into my first world problem.


Originally posted 2017-10-16 13:17:08.

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