Travel to achieve a more balanced life
As we age, one thing we often come to terms with is how fast time passes. The older we get, the more life seems to whizz past. The things which make us happy can vary according to who we are and our experience of life. There's our relationships with family and friends and there's our connection with our own selves. Both are important because we're social animals and it's our nature to relate to others, but we can't do that well unless we're secure in ourselves.
We need to be aware of what makes us get out of bed in the morning and there may be various things that we live for. It may be our job, our family or whatever makes us feel needed that keeps us alive. This is why many find themselves at a loss when their children leave or when they retire from a job they've given their everything to.
One very clever (and older) friend and mentor of mine has always reminded me that we need to put our eggs in more than one basket. Just because we're happy in our relationship or with our job does not mean that we don't also need to balance that with other interests and friends. We also need to be comfortable with indulging those interests.
Travel can be one of these interests. It opens our mind to realities other than our own. It's also an opportunity to meet people who're not within our limited social bubble. It introduces us to new food, to new her/histories, other philosophies, other ways of living.
The more divergent our destination is from what we know, the more we'll discover about human nature and about ourselves. It's vital that we question our convictions, our filter bubble. My partner and I ventured to Cuba a couple of years ago. There were many things in which Cuban way of life would fall short of our way of life but from certain points of view, they seem to have got it right.
I come from a marketing background (I'm a freelance Creative) and advertising is an integral part of my life, I suppose to all of us in the Western World. We take the choice of products or, as many like to call them, lifestyles for granted. After a few hours in Cuba, I realised I hadn't seen any product advertisements cluttering my vista (if you don't count the odd propaganda billboard). It felt strangely liberating. It presented me with a reality so utterly different to ours and I could see both its positive and negative sides. It's a much deeper demarcation than what it sounds like here. My journey there was more than a vacation. Like many travels it forced me to challenge my preconceptions.
As you've gathered, travel is one of those things that make me happy. It's not just the fact it helps me unwind. It helps me question my established viewpoints, therefore hopefully making me a more balanced individual.