Why Do We Leave?

A longing

Why do we leave? Why do people quit their jobs? Sell their apartment? And kiss their loved ones goodbye?

I feel like it’s almost a movement. A new era. More and more people are leaving their 9-5 in search of something else. Either if it’s moving to another country, backpacking for months or just choosing to hike across a country. I feel like the desire is all coming from the same source. It’s the same yearning.

In search for something else. (Lapland, Sweden)

I asked a question

A few months back I started to ask friends I made during my travels here in South America, why they were here. Why they were traveling. The answers I got were beautiful. I gathered them all in the same place (@faces.of.travels), and it created this overlook of people from all over the world that all took the same decision to leave. Some did it because they wanted to learn more about themselves. Others because they wanted change and see new horizons. And some just because they wanted to have fun.

Despite coming from different backgrounds, countries, races and ages – we all had one thing in common. One thing that united us all. We’re all looking for something, out there. Something that can’t be found in our ordinary life. Something within ourselves, or in the earth beneath us. A place in this world.

Instagram: @faces.of.travels

A price to pay

One thing I also realized is how similar many of our stories were. How we all could relate to one another in some way. We all had a heartbreak in us. A job we hated. Dreams and hopes and crazy ideas. We were anxious. And scared. And happy. And absolutely terrified. All at the same time. None of us has it together. We actually have no fucking clue what we are doing half of the time. And we keep losing and finding ourselves all over again. It’s not only the sweet age of being in our twenties. I see it in everyone. The older ones are just better at hiding it.

But by seeking discomfort. Change. And something new. By choosing to leave. We are brave. Because we know there is a price to be paid. The price of constant longing. The realization that we will always be missing things wherever we are. People, places, smells, and emotions. Our hearts will be scattered over the world. Some would think it makes you feel less full. But I believe it’s the complete opposite. I think it fills you up.

A constant longing. (Boipeba, Brazil)

We choose to go

So we choose to go at last. To throw ourselves out. We are afraid. But also immensely courageous. We seek something else beyond our desks at work or the place we grew up at. We go knowing that nothing will ever be the same once we return.

I plan to keep asking the question why while on the PCT. And I won’t be surprised if the answers I get are similar to the ones I’ve gotten before. Because I don’t think the reasons are that different in the end.



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Comments 2

  • Norma Rinker : Feb 13th

    This was beautifully written. Thank you!

  • Happy Feet : Feb 14th

    This really resonates with me. My whole life I’ve had a longong for something. And I have realised its not for a place or for a thing or a person, but that way of grounding myself again. After being lost in the “rat race” for sometime I look forward to leaving it all behind and being tue to myself again.


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