I travel to escape. That hasn’t always been the case, but now it’s something that I cherish every time I get on that plane.
So far, I’ve touched on how I’ve traveled for the sake of self-growth and for the life experience. These are the sorts of things that made me take my first big solo trip back in January of 2015. But those 6 months that I spent in England gave me a taste of what it was like to live entirely on my own – no parents or family of any kind, and no one looking over my shoulder. It was my first time having to make my own decisions about the way I lived, and it gave me a freedom that I’d never previously known.
I still live at home back in Australia, and it’s exceptionally difficult for me to do my own thing; my parents have a seemingly endless list of expectations that they try enforce upon me. Trying to do things at odds with what they want comes across as incredibly disrespectful, especially in the culture in which they were raised (namely, a Nigerian Yoruba Muslim culture). But right now, I’m on the other side of the world and holy crap – I’m feeling some serious ‘Sturmfrei’.
Sturmfrei – Lit. “stormfree”; the freedom of not being watched by a parent or superior; being alone at a place and having the ability to do what you want
(Find my source, along with a list of other really cool travel words here)
Travel always has me feeling Sturmfrei – free to do whatever the fuck I please. In the end, it just means I’m free to be me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents; but GOD DAMN – it just doesn’t work. What they want for me just does not match up with the way I want to live my life, and it leads to an incredible amount of distress for all involved.
Until a time comes where I can move out without causing irreparable damage to my relationship with my parents, travel will be my contingency. Even when I’m still at home, my desire to travel completely changes the dynamic. My parents now know that should things get too hard at home, I’d gladly up and go to somewhere where I am well and truly out of reach. It actually helps me deal with things a bit better, knowing that I have a potential escape route.
I know they smother me because of their love and concern for me, but it’s a blessing and a curse. I am a storm – of interests, passions, emotions, ambitions, dreams – and travelling always sets me free. Living at home feels like being confined to a glass jar, like I’m a bird with it’s wings clipped. I tried my best to adhere to what they wanted for quite a while, and it made me absolutely miserable. It meant holding back a lot of what made me, me; feeling like my life was not mine to be lived, and like I only existed to please someone else.
That is not a life I feel is worth living.
I’m ambitious, spontaneous, passionate, and not what most would consider “normal”; and I love that about myself. It wasn’t till I lived away from home that I was truly able to discover a lot of that, and I’m still finding out so much about myself. Being overseas allows me to leave my restrictions behind and start living life the way I want to. It’s incredibly liberating.
So I travel. There are a billion reasons to go, but sometimes none of them envelope me more than the feeling of being Sturmfrei. I know that one day, I’ll eventually have to head back and face all of those issues back at home. But today is not that day.