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Peter Pan and why he could never leave Neverland

Why perpetual travel is not healthy, but why embracing your wanderlust is.

Everyone has their reasons for travelling and it's something that I will never regret doing. Spending an extended period of time stepping foot on new shorelines, exploring new frontiers and meeting people with different viewpoints is a key feature of what you get back from your travels. But there will come a time when you have to return to the ‘real world'. Maybe that's heading home to settle down, or building a life in a new country, either way you'll return to life's normalities.  However, for a small minority of travellers, their journey never ends.

For a variety of reasons, staying on the open road becomes their ‘calling in life'. Likened to the novel by J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan rarely left Neverland, and found himself never growing old from the banal aspects of life and used escapism to continue living out his fantasies forever.  Travelling can be played out in much of the same way and there are some travel bloggers out there that find themselves in an infinitely long quest to see every corner of the globe.

But my questions is this.. Is that REALLY a healthy life to lead? Travelling for 12 months for me has made me question the motives behind why these people do it.  Don't get me wrong, I loved travelling and we saw a great deal of things that we won't forget.  But is this really what we all strive for in life?  What aggravates me the most with these travellers is the consistent way in which they will downgrade what the 99% of us do day-to-day.  Because apparently having an office job, a house, children and a normal life are all meaningless.

I've come to realise these ‘infinite travellers' have similarities in their personalties. And if anything, what they make up for in the distances they have travelled, they lack in their ability to juggle the inner workings of life.  Call them ‘escape artists' and sure, choose to read their travel ramblings as inspirational.. But escape artists are simply illusionists – our modern day Houdini's. I read a lot of travel blogs and some of those are written by infinite travellers.

It's a great thing to be able to write about your journeys for the benefit of others.. But why does travelling to these people have to be about how long you have been on the road?  What many would-be travellers don't realise, is the amount of time these bloggers spend in a single location, for many months of the year.  Behind a desk, on their computers just like the rest of us.. Searching for their next big adventure.

I'd hazard a guess that the majority of their time ‘travelling' is simply not travelling at all. I can empathise with these ‘Peter Pan's', that their lives before travelling weren't all that interesting.  There is another reason why some people travel forever.. It's simply that coming face to face with the real world is too hard.  It's much easier to just keep on following their compass.  Because for some, it's all they have.

But here's the thing I want to stress, don't be knocking everyone down for living a more ‘normalised' life.  Just because you choose to do something with your own life, doesn't mean you have to force feed that ideal onto others.

Everyone is different and there is more than a single way to live your life to the fullest.  If you want to travel forever, then great, do it if you can.  If you want to live your life working behind the desk and escaping once in a while to the tropics for an all-inclusive 2 week resort holiday, well, if it makes you happy, why let anyone put you down for it.

Travelling doesn't have to be a once in a lifetime adventure either.  You can still travel with a full-time job and see incredible places.  The reasons behind writing ‘Escaping The Desk' for us was never about setting a trend in perpetual travel or long-term travel in general.  The ideals we have are to show how easy it is to get out there and do some travelling, to embrace your wanderlust and explore new places.

Travelling for me is something that everyone should embrace.  I know people that have rarely left the UK and others that have travelled extensively, and you can see the difference that travelling can make for people.

But get this… Your weekends consist of over 100 days a year and depending on where you work, you might be getting up to 30 days holiday per year as well.  So what I am saying, is for 1/3rd of your life, you have the freedom to travel or do with it what you wish.  You don't have to have a mindset of packing up your life and travelling infinitely for sake of travel.  Too much of one thing is not healthy, like everything in life, moderation is key to having a happy, healthy and exciting life in which you won't regret anything.

I guess my point to this ‘rant' is.. Don't think travel has to be a reason to put the rest of your life on hold, and don't be envious of perpetual travellers stories.  At the end of the day, any journey of the mind, heart (and stomach!) is a journey worth taking, even if it doesn't mean following Wendy to Neverland.

About Darryl Hall (85 Articles)
Darryl left the shorelines of England in 2013 to study and travel in China and South East Asia for a year. Darryl is a co-founder of escapingthedesk.com, a travel blog with the aim of sharing travel tips, country & city guides for other backpackers. Visit my Google+ page.

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