A teacher of mine told me that everything on the earth is a dichotomy, everything has two sides. Everything can be used for good or for bad, everything can be used for your benefit or to your detriment. The difference is in the intention.
Travel is no different, the way it works for me anyway, I can use it for freedom or I can use it for escape. I can use it as an expression of the freedom I've genuinely created in my life and feel within, or I can use it as an escape to run from the limits and constraints that show up in my life, that I attract in and perpetuate myself. Leaving home, I'm never sure if I'm running free or escaping, I'm always weary of not taking off for the wrong reasons.
I think many travellers could be found guilty of travelling in search of something we'll never find. Travelling won't fix all of our problems, after all the saying goes, 'wherever you go, there you are', you're always there. The same could be said for a change of job, relationship, house or friends - you can change the external world in the hope of finding your happiness but you remain the same and you follow you there.
So as I settle into a new life (for a while) here in Paris, on another one way ticket with uncertainty ahead, I'm trying to keep my expectations in check and my intentions clearly pointed towards freedom, not escape. I am free, I carry this freedom in my heart.
Paris, I promise I won't expect you to heal all my stuff and make everything perfect. But I will keep working on making myself more and more free and treating everything as though it's perfectly imperfect as it is, as best as I can.
If all these places I leave home for can bring me to opportunities, people, places, open my eyes wider than they could be at home, that's enough, the rest has to come from me. I carry freedom with me wherever I go, coming home or leaving it, I retain it and hold it close.
I'm looking after a lovely cat (pictured above) at a lovely apartment (also pictured above) here in Paris for a month, then I'll stay another month on here at least and who knows where from there : )