On a first date I once listened to a man — who defines himself as a competitive, serious runner —  complain that some women he was meeting online were overly focused on travel in their self-image. He sneered “That’s not a lifestyle, that’s a vacation. Aren’t you NOT traveling more than you’re traveling?”

Of course, the date was long over before I realized the answer should have been “Aren’t you NOT running more than you’re running?” I did the math, if he runs just over an hour EVERY DAY that adds up to 2 weeks a year. Hmmm.

The point is, for some people traveling is just a vacation (or a run is just a workout). A resort, a cruise, a hotel, some pampering and relaxation with a hint of the exotic.
For others it is our passion and reason for living. The thing that consumes us. The thing that makes us feel alive. It’s what we look forward to, obsess about, read about, think about continuously. We won’t stay on the resort property or be satisfied with a cruiseline-arranged side trip.
We want adventures that aren’t sanitized for our protection.

We need to know more about how people live all over the world in order to know ourselves. To sift out what is cultural, what is human, and what is uniquely our own. We want to see the ancient divinity in all the mountains, waterfalls, deserts, glaciers and oceans of the world.

Dance has been a lifestyle for me. So has parenting, and building businesses. And travel… well, yes, it was my passion long before it was a reality in my life.

I don’t always know WHY I’m supposed to do things. But if I listen to my heart, I know exactly WHAT I’m supposed to do. Because when I think about doing it, I feel an expansion, my heart literally soars. It’s just that easy.

Author

Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. Lauren has written regularly for CBS Local, WebPsychology, Hipmunk, and Hotelplanner, and has also been published in The Culture-ist, Matador, and other online and print publications.

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