Not seeing it all is okay for me

Today marks 600 days of living outside of the box. Over two years ago, I had this grand idea to travel the world and to see and experience as many things as possible. The more research I did, the more I felt I had to see and the longer I knew this lifestyle would exist in my life. For the first few months of my trip, it all felt like a dream. I was city hopping every few days (or everyday), going from village to village, going to every world heritage cultural site, and meeting an endless amount of people. The hardest part of my day was figuring out what to eat from the endless selection in every country. It was exactly what I wanted… or so I thought.

About six months into my trip I started to feel more laid back. I started to not really care about what I was skipping out on as I passed by certain places. I do not however feel what I’m seeing to be any less amazing than before. I’m always appreciative and lucky for what I do but everything does start to blend in as if I’d been living like this my whole life. The world suddenly feels smaller yet bigger. Nothing feels inaccessible to travel to and I know of so many more places to go to. I’m confusing myself because although I want to see more, I feel too relaxed to actually do it. The world in my eyes has become overwhelmingly too big to see it all. I’m no longer caring about how many places I’ve been to, the amount of stamps, or where I actually end up most of the time. All I want is to be on the road itself.

Mike in Uruguay

The shift in attitude, I think, became from me being more accepting of the larger world. Before leaving, I had no idea there was so much. It’s physically impossible to literally travel the whole world. I’ll always be that minimalist backpacker but I don’t feel like I MUST see it all or have a list of any kind. There is no end date so what’s the rush? I’m still living for every moment but I don’t feel I need to rush for every moment because then it would defeat the purpose of living for every moment. I feel relaxed that the world has a lot to offer. As long as I’m experiencing something new everyday, I’m perfectly satisfied with where my travels take me.

I talk as if the world is small knowing it’s big by categorizing by continent. “I want to go to Central America next year.” instead of saying “I want to go to Costa Rica next year.” It gives me room to take things as they happen landing in places I didn’t know existed keeping everything in suspense and surprise.

I think what’s most important for me is the actual lifestyle of a traveler itself. I can at any moment go where I want to go, stay as I please, work anywhere in the world, live in the moment, and BE myself.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso travels around the world writing, photographing, and filming his adventures. He is the Editor-in-chief of Art of Adventuring.

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