Your back tightens, the headaches follow not too far behind and suddenly, out of nowhere tension seems to radiate from your body. Couple this with aches and pains that seem to literally come from nowhere. You didn’t hurt yourself and you can’t pinpoint your pain to any type of strenuous activity or exercise, but this pain persists. You pop pills, purchase wraps and even Google relentlessly to find people who are experiencing the same issues as you. And, yes, if you google you will find, maybe more than you wanted to find. This is your everyday.
Everyone tells you is that you’re getting old and to get used to it. Sound familiar? If so, there are many others that experience the same issues. Weeks leading up to that big vacation you wonder if you’ll be able to take that surfing lesson, or traverse that mountain…or even eat the things you’ve been waiting to try for so long as you planned this holiday.
And then, as you settle into your digs for the week or even weekend, a funny thing happens. The aches and pains seem to go away. You breathe with renewed energy as you briskly hike a trail, run into the crashing waves like a little kid who has just seen the beach for the first time. Suddenly, instead of being so focused on all of the things wrong, you find yourself completely unfocused. And if you haven’t already figured it out by now, unfocused is good. For the first time you feel free, but free from what? Stress? Impossible you say. Anxiety? No way. I’m not that fragile. But yet, somewhere about that time your last days of vacation come around or maybe it’s in the car or on the plane, those familiar aches and pains come back again.
Is It All in Your Head?
So is it possible that much of the pain you feel is induced through your own mind? Quite possibly. This isn’t to suggest that the aches and pains are imagined, because the tension you feel is quite real. For the last few years I’ve looked at this from my own history. I call it the traveling tension. It’s titled that not only for the fact that these aches and pains go away when I travel, but also the fact that I’ve watched these aches travel throughout my body with regularity. A few weeks maybe it’s a sore wrist, and then a few weeks later it’s some knee issues that seem to bubble up. But, find me getting on that plane to anywhere and just like that, “Poof”, it’s gone.
So the question really becomes how much my own brain is at fault for the issues I’ve encountered. When I do what others want me to do, I have this sense of anxiety that soon leads to a myriad of minor aches, but when I find myself doing what I want to do such as travel, I feel like a million bucks. I’ve passed this possible knowledge I found onto several others and often get looks of a reluctance to believe.
We’ve been told for years and years how powerful our brain really is and that we really only understand 10% of its use. This has often been mistakenly reported to be we only USE 10%. But let’s not kid ourselves, the brain functions at a much higher level than we realize. It senses and adapts for events in our life, even when we feel like we have everything under control. So how do you keep something in check that occurs without you knowingly manufacturing it? That’s a very good question. But a remedy that never hurts is to find that “purpose” in your life that makes the pain go away.
Make Travel Part of Your Everyday
For a traveler, it’s not only the travel itself, but the planning. Try to incorporate travel into your everyday life and by that I mean bring it home with you. If immersing yourself into another place relieves the stress, bring that place home with you. Find that wanderlust attitude and carry it with you daily. I never have to look far within my home or workplace to keep that purpose. I was made for traveling, but need to work. I’ve also become comfortable with the knowledge that if I had to walk away from it all, I could. Life wouldn’t be easy that’s for sure but if you’re on your own schedule…well, who knows? And that thought alone, brings comfort. And that comfort is unfocused, and remember, unfocused is good.
Live within your means, Travel beyond them.