Be A Tourist In Your Own Life

In two and a half weeks I’m going traveling for a month to five different cities. Not for any particular reason, other than that I’m bored where I am and it’s been a while since I’ve done a huge trip like this.

I like traveling alone. I like to imagine that I look very glamorous walking around the airport in a trench coat, sipping espresso, peering at people over newspapers. It’s great. However, in reality, I know I look like a sherpa. Arms laced with multiple bags, trashy magazines, and airport snacks. I’m that person who shows up 5 minutes before takeoff, leaves her boarding passes on top of trash cans, forgets her phone in the women’s restroom, and always packs something in her carry-on that warrants the TSA to feel her up. Still, in my mind, I am Angelina Jolie in The Tourist. 

Depending on how I look at it, it’s not much of a risk or a big challenge. Sure, it’ll be challenging to work while traveling, but it’s a very well thought out, planned risk. If I think about it as merely a shift in location from week to week, then I won’t gain a whole lot from it. I can sit in an Airbnb and work from anywhere, the same way I am right now. I’d rater use it as a source for even more cool stuff to make.

I also want to be very intentional about not turning this into some sort of “soul-searching” or “self-reflection” trip. Self-reflection is great, but I don’t want to sacrifice my productivity by people-watching and reading books in parks and pretending that that’s in any way constructive.

This isn’t a “recharging” trip or a vacation. The true way you “find yourself” so to speak, is by creating things, doing things, and trying things for the first time. That process shouldn’t stop just because I’ll be drinking coffee with hipsters in Portland or looking at art in New York City. “Wanderlust” will not cure you of anything and should not be a substitute for hard work.

I’m trying to develop a new perspective towards traveling, in which I don’t look at as something that gets in the way of my work, but as another way to fuel it and inspire it. I want to explore new places, meet new people, and use it as a source for creativity in a healthy and tangible way. I want to be a tourist in my own life. More specifically, I want to be Angelina Jolie.

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