Please allow me, reader, to just put it this way, even if only for the sake of lyricism (or of marketing!): Happy people don’t travel.
No doubt, that statement is an oversimplification; but it is precisely in its simplicity where it gets the strength. And now, before sneering at me or getting annoyed, please let me explain myself.
To start with, I’m not referring to those people who twice or thrice a year take a (never too long) holiday trip in a more or less touristic, amusement or cultural disposition; neither to the weekend trippers; nor I’m talking about those travels related with work, family, business or studies. None of that. Rather, I’m thinking of the globe-trotters; of those who feel a yearning for experiencing another countries, for travelling to more or less distant regions; of those who, craving for new destinations, frequently leave their houses (rather than their homes) and take off to somewhere else, even looking for new abode and job; of those who hanker for taking their backpack, wandering around the world and knowing other cultures, often without a fixed purpose, other than that of “getting away”.
It’s about these people that I mean my sentence: the happy ones don’t travel; and perhaps now you, reader, feel a little bit less skeptical about it than before.
And yet, why do I say this?
Well; when we watch the world around us, we soon find out that movement only originates from a misbalance. Equilibrium leads to no movement, to no change. And the travellers I’m talking about are not an exception to this rule: their travels can only take place out of some misbalance, some restlessness if you prefer. There can be, of course, one hundred reasons for that disquiet, but there is almost always some shortage involved, some longing, some “deficiency”. Travellers need something else; they aren’t happy enough at home; not as happy as they feel they could or should be. They’re always on the way to something, but never there; often not even knowing what exactly that something is.
Or, let’s see it from the other end: why should someone who is content with his life, his job, his family or friends; someone who likes the place he lives in, who enjoys his routine, who has rest and peace of mind, who is as happy as his circumstances and set point let him be — why should that person go and set on a trip? What can he find out there that he doesn’t have in here? What should anyone move the tip of a finger for, if it’s not for achieving some improvement? And can a happy persons improve? Isn’t happiness the highest goal anyone can expect to get in life? This is what I mean, and only in this sense my sentence should be interpreted. So, don’t misread my words: I’m neither saying that all sedentary people are happy, nor that all travellers are unhappy. I just believe that, somehow, there’s a higher degree of unhappiness among the laters.
And I’ve seen this theory confirmed by experience: in all my years of vagrant, roving around at random from place to place, hostel to couch, I’ve met many travellers; and I’ve found clearly more uneasiness among the these than among the locals.
Happy people don’t travel. Mostly the restless, the unsatisfied, the ones who lack something at home, who look for a better place or a more likable people, embark on a trip in the search of whatever they miss. Travellers are very often trying to either find themselves, or to run away from themselves. They usually have a misbalance in their souls, and they move towards the equilibrium.
But who knows? Perhaps when a traveller finally finds what he’s looking for, and settle down and rest, perhaps he’ll do a happier citizen than the others…