travel high

On Chasing the High

You know the high I’m referring to here.

It’s that tingly feeling, the one that starts at your core and radiates outward to the tips of your fingers and toes. A smile spreads across your face, illuminating your entire countenance. And all you can think is, “hell yes.” That is, if you didn’t actually shout it out loud at the top of your lungs.

You’ve just hit purchase on that plane ticket. Or booked that incredible tour around the temples of Cambodia, or trekking to base camp in Nepal. A sailing trip along the coast of Croatia.

Or maybe you’re going to Paris for the first time, or back to London to stay at a hotel on the same street you used to live on almost eight years ago.

It’s doesn’t matter the trip – it’s the feeling you get.

Travelers are always chasing the high.

I don’t know if it’s purely excitement, or adrenaline, or nervous anticipation. Probably a combination. But there’s a feeling associated with turning a dream vacation into a reality.

And it doesn’t stop at just the booking.

Once you arrive at your destination, and begin to absorb all the sights, the sounds, the smells… that feeling is back. You’re alive. And you are living the moment. That’s a powerful drug.

This is why you find that travelers are constantly finding new ways to push their boundaries. Certain things have become comfortable. Safe… even easy. They have to go farther, more exotic, more remote to find that feeling of being challenged again.

They’re chasing the high.

I’ve done it. I’ve acclimated to being dropped off in foreign countries, and subsequently searched for other ways to reach the edge of my comfort zone. It’s sort of strange to think that when I first arrived in Sydney, it was a French cafe that made me feel the tug of the familiar. Imagine, an American girl in Australia feeling like something French is what she most identifies with. But that in itself is pretty cool as well.

And this phenomenon begs the question, do we ever get to a point when we simply cannot reach that same high?

Do we get too well-traveled, too blasé about different places, people, and cultures that we begin to lose the concept of foreign?

I don’t know. There’s plenty of people out there who have traveled to many more places than I, so perhaps they are better suited to answer that question.

But I hope they say no.

The reason: I want every experience, in every place, whether well-known or brand-spanking new, to always have that same level of excitement.

Because if you’re lucky enough to go once, twice, or even a thousand times, you better appreciate it. Don’t allow yourself to become so disenchanted that you fool yourself into thinking you’ve already done or seen it all.

You haven’t. You just need to reconnect with that child inside – the one that still holds all the world in a state of awe, who approaches each situation with curiosity and an open mind. It’s amazing what incredible experiences are still open to you if you decide to drop the mask of indifference.

So let’s try that for a bit, shall we? It would do wonders in overcoming our adventure envy. It might even teach us to appreciate more of the seemingly mundane, like going to Paris for the thousandth time.

You just might find yourself chasing that high again, and finding it.

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