Why I Stopped Travelling: How I Lost My Desire To Travel.

This week marks my 6 months since I moved to London from Hong Kong, and I am very surprised that I have not stepped foot on any of the European countries nearby since I settled.

Back in Hong Kong, I used to travel regularly, around 4 to 5 times a year.

Nothing big, usually only to nearby South East Asia countries, like Singapore, Philippines or Thailand. Travelling used to be a relief for me to refresh myself, restart and recharge in order to keep my life moving.

So today I am hoping to reflect and see what happened after I moved, why I haven’t been travelling since I have moved to London, and why do we travel in general.

Why did I travel?

To get to the bottom of this, I have to look at what motivated me to travel back then.

#1. To Get Away. To Escape.

Getting away has always been the major reason I travel — whenever I felt like I am stuck in life or at work, I knew that I had to get on a holiday to pick myself back up again.

For a brief period, to forget about all the bad things that were happening, leave everything behind and just relax for a few days. To not care about anything, and just focus on what life has to offer.

#2. To Be Alone (I know. The Anti-social me.)

This might sound ultra weird but I guess this only shows how much of an introvert I am. Being in Hong Kong there are so many things to attend to, some many people to entertain and it just drains all of my energy.

Sometimes I might just want to stay in cafes in another countries when I am travelling and that would already make a perfect vacation.

I could work on my personal projects, watch and observe people, and appreciate the little things in life that I had no time for when I am living my busy life in Hong Kong.

#3. To Regroup, and Reflect.

As you might have noticed I like to reflect a lot (what I am doing right now by writing this post!).

To think about different aspects of life, to plan and to look at different directions where I can from here. Somehow I can only do that when I am completely by myself and care-free, that is when I am travelling.

#4. To Meet New, Inspiring People

Like these random strangers I met while taking selfie in Times Square last December.

Whenever I travel I really like meeting like-minded people. But this is hardly what motivates me to travel as I have no control over what people I would meet, or if I was gonna meet any at all.

So this is more like a bonus, but you’d be surprised to know how many nice and inspiring people I have met throughout my years of travelling and staying in hostels.

So Why Did I Stop Travelling?

London Is Expensive

Even though my salary has adjusted, living in London is no fun for the wallet. The expenses are crazy and not to mention the rents. This is partly restricting my travels, trying to not spend too much on top of my regular expenses.

Less Stressful, Less Busy Life In London

Over the years I have come to realise, like most of us, I am not a huge fan of changes. I like staying in my comfort zone, unless there’s a huge motivation for me to change. Back in Hong Kong it was the stressful and busy life that kept pushing me to travel.

Ever since I have moved to London, I have less things to worry about, and life is less stressful and more comfortable. I also have less people to entertain and keep up with, and thus more time to myself, which is one of the reason that pushes me to travel back then.

Surroundings Are Still Relatively Exciting And New

Even though I have been to London a few times already, on top of these 6 months living in London, the atmosphere and surroundings of this new London life are still very refreshing and exciting to me. Mostly because of how big and cultural London is.

So even tho I am not travelling, I am still travelling.

Travelling For The Wrong Reason?

This is what I had come to conclusion with: I have been travelling for the wrong reason.

I was travelling to get away, and less of travelling to gain new experience and meet new people.

So when the circumstances changes and I am now in a more comfortable place, I no longer desire to travel, to get away as much. But does that make it wrong?

Travelling Is A Personal Experience

One thing I know for sure is that travelling is a personal experience. The reason behind travelling is definitely different for everyone. If travelling get you off the steam of your daily busy life like I did, then so be it. There shouldn’t be a right or wrong for wanting to get away. If one day you no longer find travelling exciting or fulfilling, it is totally fair for you to stop travelling.

But for me even tho I have less desire to take a trip to travel because of some financial and environmental circumstances, my soul is still longing to explore the unexplored lands, to see all those that I haven’t seen, to re-live the excitement of meeting all those inspirational travellers and nomads across the world.

What’s Next?

All these being said, even tho I might have less desire to travel, I am still very much curious to what Europe has to offer. It might take me more effort to plan and commit to a trip, but I will definitely still plan some travels. Because I know travelling has made me a better person, and what travelling can do to me.

To not limit myself in that little city I call home. To see all these people around the world doing great things you have never dreamt of doing. And best of all, to be inspired.

And in between these travel trips, I will still be travelling — within London itself! And that’s what I am going to focus on, to explore the city of London and to document whatever findings I have.

What travelling means to you? Why do you travel? Leave a comment below and let me know why does travelling mean so much to you!

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Originally published at felix.ng on May 3, 2015.

Felix Ng is a travel blogger, an expat from Hong Kong currently based in London. For more inspiration, join his blog’s free newsletter.

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