Anonymity of travelling

When we were young, we did whatever we wanted without a care in the world what others thought. Our parents would be the only ones to tell us what’s acceptable and what’s not.

As we grow older, we also grow less and less comfortable doing what may seem “different” from the norm, or the conformities of society, in fear of being shunned and excluded.

It’s strange that there’s a set of unspoken norms that govern our society. You would get strange looks if you were to sing loudly on the streets, disapproving looks for running through water fountains, or horrified looks if you were to do a cannonball into the river from a rock.

In school, they teach you “there are no stupid questions,” yet when you ask something that may seem obvious to others, you will be laughed at for lacking common sense.

Over time, it makes the majority of us less and less confident about ourselves.

Travelling breaks you free from all of these. There are no stupid questions. Often we miss out on opportunities because we’re afraid of asking, and being remembered or recognized. Even if there is such a thing as a stupid question, just remember, chances are you will probably never see them again in your life.

Same applies when you meet someone new while travelling. You don’t have to present your best side – to them, you’re a blank piece of paper with no mutual Facebook friends. You can tell them about all your darkest stories and fears. You could’ve been an accomplished executive of a company or have just dropped out of school. It does not matter what your background is. I’ve met some of the most thoughtful and mature 20 year old backpackers, versus some 40 year old who have been sitting in their office for half their life but lack empathy for the rest of the world and its issues. Don’t be something you’re not and just be yourself. Chances are, if they already know this much about you and are still talking to you, you’ll be friends for a long time to come. If they don’t, remember there are still seven billion minus one people out there that you can connect with.

So take a break and travel from time to time and regain your boldness. Run, laugh, cry, dance, and take chances like no one else is watching. Do a cartwheel, a handstand, scream at the top of your lungs, and take embarrassing selfie photos in public. That’s what I love about being away from the familiar. It’s a relief not having to hold anything back.

And if you see others doing something completely ridiculous, remember to smile and give them a thumbs up.

2 Comments

  1. W

    yes!! Agree :)
    I love being in a new city and being stupid, no one knows who I am and I don’t care. But then again, I’m already like that in Vancouver, being elsewhere just amplifies it!

    • Sam

      It’s good if you’re already comfortable like that in your own city!

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