My travels over the last five years have brought me to incredible places, where I’ve done some brilliant things and met amazing people. Five years is a long time to be on the move though, never really knowing more than 3 months into my future; where I may be or what I might do. With plans again this year to do lots of moving around and zig zag around the earth, it’s getting to a point where I wonder if I can ever stop moving.
And it’s not that I don’t enjoy home, or that I don’t enjoy having a place to call home. I like having family and close friends around, and parts of me even like the idea of having a vague routine. But if I’m to really stop and think about settling down it just feels unnatural. There is just an urge in me that desires the anticipation of the next thing, and something almost like a force that wants me to keep exploring.
It’s gotten to the point where I think it needed a diagnosis. And what I think I might have is what they call shark syndrome.
Certain sharks (roughly two dozen species out of around 400) instinctively travel their entire life. Never second guessing whether it should stay put. In fact, for that select group of sharks, their demise can come from something as simple as the cease of movement. If these sharks were to stop moving, they die. So some sharks are cursed with the task of constantly travelling.
I seem to have that similar instinct. My quest to move around slowly propelled out of something I can’t explain. My ability to stay in one place for any length of time seems to be diminishing and I am seeking reasons to why I go a little crazy if I stay dormant in a single place.
Maybe I have shark DNA?
Hmmmmm, unlikely. Its more likely I have shark syndrome. The condition where one has an unknown desire / need to keep exploring and discovering. As far as I know this isn’t a real disorder, but I’d say with influx of people flicking their careers and “the norm” the finger to pack up a bag and hit the road I’m not the only person who suffers from shark syndrome.
Where does it come from? What is the cause of this behaviour?
I recently read an article in Vogue magazine about adults not wanting to grow up. Trying to maintain their youth throughout their 20’s and 30’s. The article described trends of people who were staying at home longer. Staying in school longer waiting longer to get married and travelling more. I put the magazine down and realized it was from 2005. And I could relate, to a 10-year-old story now being in my mid 20’s, to these inquisitions about what is causing us in early adulthood to hang on to youth so tightly.
Does travel make me feel youthful? Of course. Do I travel strictly to maintain a youthful persona. No.
What I do believe is that people who travel aren’t settlers. They didn’t just grab the first opportunity / job / relationship or whatever that passed by them. They had a desire to see what else what out there, to discover more about themselves and the world they live in. I think our generation is beginning to see that there’s an importance in that and there is no rush in “getting settled”. And some (some would say more and more) of us that simply aren’t satisfied with 3 weeks off a year. Going mental in a shit job, marking X’s on the calendar, counting the days backwards from 100 on social media until we see a beach or ski hill for 6 days and 7 nights and then dread going back. That life just doesn’t work for a lot of people.
They have to be free to roam, to venture, to discover, to fail and to pick themselves back up again.
I know that travel isn’t for everyone. The reason I travel the way I do isn’t to rebel or show off or gloat or even chase youth though . It’s purely because I love to. My natural habitat isn’t in the town I was born in or the most buzzing city in my country or of any other country for the time being. Right now I want to do what I love, and that is explore.
I’ve been asked what if I travel, and travel and travel, then at the end, I don’t find anything?
For me I suppose there isn’t really an end, and there is no chance of nothing. I look at each destination as the beginning of a new journey, and with each journey there is new experience and with each new experience comes new opportunity. So I will always be content moving in forward.
And this I suppose, is how some sharks must feel.