How to (really) be a better person


A few days ago, I turned 25.

I guess a quarter of a century old is a milestone of sorts. Last year, I wrote an ambitious promise to myself that before this birthday, I would be (or at least making plans to be) travelling as a way of life. …yeah. My finances are not looking that healthy.

A part of me says that I should jump in. Because anything that’s stopping you from pursuing what you really want to do is just a bad excuse. But even if we should live like we’ll die tomorrow, we must surely leave enough to survive another day.

Besides, travel is overrated. Do you get that feeling sometimes? That travel is a self-interested peacocking of access and excess to feign uncommon sophistication, standing apart. Puffed up with quasi-intellectual rationalizations of how crucial it is to growth and an open mind. As if people who are not privileged to travel are doomed to be petty and ignorant.

I do love travelling. I wish I would stop using “growth” as an excuse to travel. I’ll be honest and say I love the variety. It is human nature to love the new and interesting.

But all change that happens to you while traveling is mostly idealized. It is easy to be “better” when you’re in an environment that constantly surprises you. It is difficult to remain upbeat in a mundane setting that pisses the fuck out of you. It’s hard to admit this. But while the unknown shows you who you can be, the mundane brings out who you are. And if you can’t better yourself in the mundane, don’t expect the effects of the unknown to last.

One day, though, I want to make LTST (long-term slow travel) happen. Until then, my immediate environment is still catalyst for improvement.

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