There’s an increasing trend with many young people who have apparently lost themselves, only to go on a huge adventure somewhere in a quest to discover who they really are.
Call me a killjoy, and I like an overseas holiday as much as the next person: but if you think you’re finding yourself, that’s total bullshit.
In life, especially at an age of massive changes, it’s easy enough to question whether you’re making the right decisions. Do you stay friends with the people who don’t reciprocate contact? Do you stay in the job you don’t like for security? Do you settle down with one person or play the field? Do you travel overseas on an epic six-month adventure, or do you work your way up the corporate ladder?
I’m not saying it’s easy to make these decisions. I just think the using the convenient excuse of ‘I’m off to go find myself’ is getting a little old.
Most people I know that have travelled to the great lands of Europe, America, South America or Thailand for extended periods of time have been off to go ‘find themselves.’ Judging by social media they’ve found themselves – on a dingy dance-floor, at the bottom of a bottle of tequila or perhaps hungover in a hostel bed.
Let’s not mistake having a bloody good time for finding ourselves.
To me the thing is, getting lost in the world of adventures and travel is just that. It’s awesome, new experiences. It’s late nights, and early mornings, and places you never thought you’d go to. It’s meeting new people, experiencing snow for the first time, drinking ‘margaritas’ out of a can (don’t do it). It’s dancing under the bright lights of Vegas, or soaking up the sun in Mykonos. There’s rarely many times you’re really sitting there, pondering who you are, or where you’re meant to be going, Derek Zoolander style.
You might fall in love with a country and plan to move there. You might fall in love with a person and try to do a long distance relationship. It’s all part of the adventure of life. You might come home and have a greater respect for the big things and little things: your family, the way coffee here tastes way better than it does in the States, the fact you can eat vegetables again, the way you’re letting your liver recover. You may change your perception on things, but it’s called human growth. Not ‘finding yourself.’
There’s no rule to ever say you have to have your shit together by a certain age in your 20s. And there’s no hard law for when is the right time to settle down at all. So even if you’re confused, unmotivated or uninspired, that’s all totally okay. It’s completely normal actually. But using the excuse of ‘finding yourself’ to run away from any sorts of responsibility? I’m sorry to break it to you, but the same problems and issues are always going to be there when you return.
Have fun. Learn about yourself. Discover new things. Grow as a person. But let’s not all live our lives on some whimsical bullshit cliché that we’re all lost, dreaming souls, just trying to find our way.