“Paradise was always over there, a day’s sail away. But it’s a funny thing, escapism. You can go far and wide and you can keep moving on and on through places and years, but you never escape your own life. I, finally, knew where my life belonged. Home.” – J. Maarten Troost
What is it about the prospect of adventure that makes us salivate with anticipation. What is that integral part of all of us that wishes to go somewhere else so that we can maybe, if only for a moment, escape into a new sense of being, and in a way become someone else for a short period of time?
Maybe it’s because all of us are attracted to the danger of the unknown, the sense of breaking out of our shell, coming to terms with a whole new environment, and letting the experience transform us from caterpillar into butterfly.
But this is wishful thinking. You can dream of tomorrow and all its possibilities, wish for an open road and a fast car that will help you get away, but by doing so you’re not really living in the moment, and enjoying all the possibilities that exist in the here and now.
Because what it comes down to is that the grass really isn’t greener elsewhere, it might be different grass, softer and tinged yellow, but just as susceptible to withering and dying if we fail to water it and help it grow. For some of us, when we look at the grass beneath out feet, all we see is how dry and brown and unpromising it is. What we don’t see is what it might become if we were to put some effort back into making it grow.
So, if you are overcome by a sense of wanderlust, I encourage you to reevaluate your surroundings. What is it about your current state of being that’s making you feel stuck and unproductive? Escaping isn’t always the answer, because no matter how hard to try to run away from those things you feel are holding you back, they will follow you and impact your new life wherever that may be, and the things you tried to change by leaving, won’t have changed at all.
Instead of looking for the easy way out, ask yourself, honestly, what can I do now to help my soul grow? How can I make the most of the grass beneath my feet? How can I learn to appreciate the good and beautiful things in my life? This reflection may grant you perspective, and you may see the world around you in a new and extraordinary way.
Or you might not, at which point a change of scenery may be the thing you need to gain that perspective. But this conclusion, if in earnest, is much rarer than you might imagine.