Traveling Is Not Always Right

Travelers will often tell you, ‘Go. Whenever you can.’

Take the opportunity.

Take the chance.

And anyone who knows me will know that, in general, I do.

But I’ve been on vacation from school for a few weeks. And I’m sitting here. In my room. In New York.

Because for the first time, staying seemed more scary than leaving.

And we all need to conquer our fears.

Normally, I travel to connect to the present. To connect to the now.

To fully focus on others and look them in the eye without the distractions of a cell phone and data.

Normally, I travel because it reminds me that time is short, and you must carpe that diem.

I remember that I used to wistfully look at those carrying a backpack on their backs with admiration. I used to want to be like them.

But now that I am, I’ve started admiring others.

I’ve started looking at people who get excited in their daily lives. In their marriages. With their careers. With their hobbies. And thinking how awesome it would be if I could do that.

If I could be as present when I’m home as I am when I’m abroad.

Because, after all, it is no great feat to find water in an oasis.

But to find an water in a desert, that is a miracle.

I became acutely aware that the mission of the day was not to travel.

But to stay.

Because so much of our lives are spent here.

At home.

I don’t want to live by counting down until my next vacation.

I want to learn to travel right where I am.

And honestly, it’s been hard.

It’s hard, when you’re surrounded by the things that surround you every day, to realize that you need to take advantage of the moments you have.

It’s beautiful. It’s important.

But it’s difficult.

Normally, I’d have spent my month getting fit by climbing mountains. Commencing multi-day hikes.

But for the past few weeks, I’ve been climbing stairs.

For half an hour a day, I’ve gone up and down the stairs of my apartment building.

Up 6 flights. Down 6 flights.

Over and over again.

And most of the time, as I’m climbing, I think to myself, ‘man, this is immensely boring.’

But I’ve continued doing it.

Because so much of our lives are spent on stairwells and not mountains.

And I’m entirely ready to see the adventure in that.

And every once in a while,

Maybe for about 5 minutes a day,

I’ll get there.

I’ll get in the ‘zone’. That delicious place where nothing exists but you and your steps.

Where the only place you are,

Is here.

And honestly, at that moment,

At that moment, when home feels like the Himalayas,

I feel as proud of myself as I would if I’d have just climbed Everest.

Sometimes, it’s not the right time to travel.

Sometimes, we need to focus on our careers. Our friendships. Our romantic pursuits. Our financial situation. Our families.

As much as people will tell you that you should JUST GO, sometimes, something else needs your attention.

This vacation, I did not travel.

Because when people ask me when my latest adventure was:

I want to always be able to respond, ‘Yesterday.

Yesterday was my latest adventure.’