But I just traveled the world! Where did my happiness go?

Carl came to Bali for the same reasons as most: to leave the expectations and demands of a society and corporate structure by which he felt trapped and restricted. You know where he came from? Amsterdam. Freaking Amsterdam! Where I’ve heard so many people go for the same reasons Carl came here. A friend in Dublin, upon hearing I would be in London soon, once said “OMG you MUST go to Amsterdam! It’s so close! Ah, one of the best cities on earth.”

So why did Carl leave? Because the oppression of normalcy and society is not without, but within you. Leave your city, your region, you country, yes yes, I will be the first to encourage that. But do not be fooled into believing that your calm comes from this new culture. If you do, the feelings of oppression will fall right back into place if you go back home, or will creep back in if you make this your new home.

Peace, just like stress, is manufactured in the factory of your mind. The raw materials pushed into this factory are the people and circumstances you encounter in your day, so they of course play a part. But the factory is yours to do with as you please. Does your factory need repairs or an upgrade? Can you take in hardship and produce joy in the midst of sorrow? Can you take in screaming children and produce patience? Can you take in the nasty attitude of Tracy, that dick from accounting, and produce compassion?

Oh and I feel I should say: you can’t make the upgrades by yourself. You just don’t have the tools. You have to get those from Jesus. So stop trying to fix it on your own, you’re just wasting your time and it’s gonna fall apart eventually, anyways.

Traveling is an extremely effective way of shifting your perspective, gaining clarity, finding peace, and so on. And it’s fun! I highly recommend it. But remember the task of finding peace and joy is yours alone and cannot be completed by your surroundings. And I believe you can do it. I’ve heard you’re a very capable person.

Posted January 17, 2016 in Travel, updated May 25, 2016.

© 2018 Taylor Gorman