Being a nerd (or geek, whatever term you prefer) is great because it means being passionately in love with something. I think part of the reason for that passion is our subject of geek-love is often something separate and different from our normal. I love to read and write because my brain gets to spend time in another place with other people. I’m immersed in a world that is different from my daily life.
For many of us, our nerdy passions are mind-vacations, little ways we escape our regular lives for a bit and recharge. This is exactly why I think actual travel is vital to living our best lives. I used the phrase “filling the well” in my Why Nerds Travel Part 1 post and talked about how traveling can help soothe the life-burnout. But when I revisited Marlon’s first Why Nerds Travel post, I latched on to this reason of his:
For Survival – When I see Joel and Ellie of TLOU counting small wins in the ruins of a chaotic world, I’m like “I want to capture that in my memory and appreciate the crap out of it.” Sometimes I travel for the sake of survival like if I don’t end up going on a trip to somewhere remote and obscure then, I’ll die or I’ll bite someone.
I completely relate to this feeling, the need sometimes to physically get away from our regularly scheduled programming. Is wanderlust just instinct telling our brains it’s time to take a break? We can get so caught up in our routines, chores, responsibilities that we forget to appreciate the little things and to take care of ourselves. Removing yourself from all your normal is like shucking a weight and breathing in fresh air.
And hey, I live so much of my life in imaginary worlds and I love them, but they are not enough. To quote the ever-wise Dumbledore,
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
And the best part about travel is that it kind of forces you to live. The nature of traveling is movement, and when you’re navigating the unfamiliar, you can’t just coast. We have to engage with our surroundings, and that in itself can reinvigorate us. The challenges we face might make us appreciate the comforts we have at home; the new dish we try might remind us how truly wonderful good food is. Like Marlon said, about traveling to survive:
The most important motivation here is to be refreshed and get centered after being jolted around from a chaotic work life.
So travel often – even if it is local. You never know what your neighboring towns have to offer or what overlooked beauty you might discover in your backyard. For example, the Sister and I finally visited this old pioneer cemetery (it’s a historical landmark too!) in our area that we’ve been passing since we were kids. This is a place that creeped me out as a child when we drove by at night and always made me curious as to what and who was in there. We never saw any people visiting.
But we decided to stop by last Sunday because we saw they were having an “open house” with goats! They’d brought in a herd to weed the grounds in an eco-friendly way and people were welcome to “walk with the goats.” This little adventure was so spontaneous and simple, but it added so much delight to my weekend!
You are the protagonist and author of your own story, and remember, the story doesn’t start until something changes the status quo. So start your journey and remind yourself that you’re on one. After all, you have to make it to the end. Fill the well.
Q4U: What do you do when you need to get away? How does travel help you survive?
Supplement: (Music) Chasing the Sun | Sara Bareilles (Music) Take a Break | Hamilton Original Cast Recording