You’ve heard it before: don’t expect to run to another country and ‘find yourself’ there.

It is a powerful argument that has gained increasing exposure and traction, with a laudible purpose of encouraging people to engage with themselves and their feelings.

However, it is also a message that should be appropriated with caution, and in this article I’ll explain why.

Before I delve into the three main reasons that this way of thinking makes me deeply uncomfortable, I shall begin by saying that I do broadly agree with the statement that travel can be a distraction.

Yes, travel can be a distraction, just like over-eating, shopping, binge-drinking, drug-taking, binge-watching TV - or any other activity…

We all have that thing. That one thing that seduces us even though it’s carcinogenic and we ought to resist.

We don’t want to admit it, but secretly it whispers promises of relief, sanctuary, joy — escape. It injects us with energy, a shot of adrenalin so powerful that our pupils dilate, our heart races, and finally we feel alive. Really alive. The kind of alive that we want more of, regardless of potential deleterious effects.

For some it’s drugs — cocaine, ketamine, nicotine or even caffeine. For others it’s alcohol. More recently sugar has been having some time in the spotlight too. But what about toxic love?

Recently, I was sitting with friends in a traditional wood-clad pub in…

Anna M

Reseacher, anthropologist, nomad, geek and fledgling writer.

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