Am I Traveling To Run Away From My Problems?

Digital Nomad Working On Labtop

A picture of me working here in Cape Town with Table Mountain in the background

This is a question I’ve been pondering lately, for a long time I wouldn’t even consider it though. It felt like something people who don’t have the time, or sufficient drive to travel would say to write off the experiences I’ve had in my life. However, I’m beginning to change my opinion on this.

Some Background

I’m currently sitting in a pretty bad ass Aparthotel in Cape Town. There’s a part of me that loves this place, there’s a part of me that wants to stay here longer. There’s another part of me that wants to move on. A part of me that feigns for the excitement of a new place.

Currently the part of me that wants to stay here is winning, but I don’t know how long it will win. I recently had a falling out with someone who was very special to me and my excitement for Cape Town comes and goes.

On the one hand, this is most likely the easiest place for an American to live in all of Africa, I walk around here sometime and feel like I could be in Southern California. I have built a regimen here. I’m following a good morning routine. I feel close to the baristas at the cafe’s I work at, I have a gym membership just across the road. I feel like I’m really getting into my stride of my work and my physical health. After getting mugged in Johannesburg I’m cool with finding an easier place to travel for a bit 😂.

However, I still have moments where I feel pretty lonely. Times where I’m driven to go to the next city and re-build my little routines all over again. A place where the women will appreciate me more, where I can find that thing that made my January so incredible with the aforementioned acquaintance (I don’t know if she would feel comfortable with me using her name so I’ll steer clear of that just to be careful).

Mpumalanga South Africa
A picture of Mpumalanga, South Africa so far the most beautiful place I’ve been to in SA

So do I use travel to run away from my problems?

It looks like I can yes, it looks like one of my copping mechanisms for dealing with loneliness or monotony is to try to alleviate it with the excitement of a new city. I don’t believe that my desire to travel is 100% driven by alleviating loneliness / monotony but I can easily see it turning into that if I’m not careful.

I’ve recently decided to quit my lease and travel full time for the foreseeable future, so I have more freedom now than ever to up and leave whenever I feel like it. That freedom excites me. I will likely visit Uganda, Ethiopia & Egypt before going to western Europe then back to Mexico for a buddies wedding in the summer. The potential issue with all of this freedom is that I can easily allow myself to literally run away from my problems.

Every time the monotony of day to day life kicks in, or I end things with a girl instead of taking the time to feel those feelings; I can allow them to be masked by the novelty of a new destination. For obvious reasons I don’t want to do that.

Waterfall in Mpumalanga, South Africa
A waterfall from Mpumalanga because I love that place

So What’s The Solution?

As best I can tell, the solution is to continue to journal and meditate in the mornings that way I can better identify my impulses and investigate where those impulses come from. If I get impulses to suddenly leave it’s likely a red flag that I need to deal with some of my S$&%.

I still have places I want to see in South Africa, but my time in Cape Town isn’t finished yet. I’ve discovered a lot about myself in the last few weeks and I don’t want to upend that because of the discomfort required for those realizations.

At least that’s my best solution, let me know if you think there’s a better one 😂


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