We have another reader question by Arvind

Why do we feel happy when we are travelling to an unknown place? What is the real reason that almost everyone feels happy while traveling?

Think of it this way – it’s a duel between the spirit and the mind.

We are all born free. We are free spirits, the world is our oyster. We are FREE to do whatever we want to do but at the same time, we cannot do what we want.

Why? Why are we caged in our lives? Who has caged us? Nobody but ourselves.

We are caged in our jobs, business, family, relationships – pursuing worldly goals, objectives and whatever our own definition of life is. But wait, this definition of “How life should be” is given by whom?

Nobody knows who has given this definition of how life should be. We don’t know how life should be, we are figuring it out. And in this process, we are enslaving ourselves. We are creating a cage for ourselves and living inside that cage.

True happiness cannot come without Freedom.

The basic ingredient of happiness is Freedom.

  • Freedom from examination – Happiness!
  • Freedom from a job – Happiness!
  • Freedom from a painful relationship – Happiness!
  • Freedom from Debt/mortgage – Happiness!
  • Freedom from myths – Happiness!

If you look at it, you will understand how this works

Step 1: First you create a trap for yourself. For example, you enter a college thinking that life would be great and that you will achieve all your dreams when you graduate.

Step 2: Then you struggle inside that trap. You keep fighting with yourself for 4 years, entangling yourself in a trap.

Step 3: Then one day you come out of that trap and you are happy.

Then you enter another trap – job/business/employment. Then marriage. Then taking up a mortgage to buy a home or something. Then setting up a business. Having kids.

The cycle continues. From one cage to another.

Travel sets you Free


The basic reason why we feel happy while travelling is the sense of Freedom we get, when we escape from our mundane life and break the cages we have created for ourselves.

The spirit wants to break free from this chaos. The spirit wants to breathe in free air and live, not thinking about how to live, what to do, what not to do. The spirit wants freedom from everything, even from thoughts.

The soul inside you is always wanting to break free, to live, to escape. However, it is the mind which traps the spirit and convinces it that it cannot break free.

  • You cannot quit your job and live the life of a Nomad – how will you sustain yourself?
  • You cannot quit college – what will others say?
  • You cannot quit your marriage – who will pay for the alimony?

This is what the mind tells the spirit, when the spirit wants to break free.

However, when you are traveling, the spirit takes over the mind.

The usual banter of the mind is suppressed and the spirit rules for some time. This is when the spirit comes on its own and lives in freedom.

We all want this. We all want to be free spirits but alas, the misconceptions and fallacies of the mind conquers our spirit and makes us a moral slave, a slave of our own imagination. That we want this, we want that, we have to do this and that and this is how you should live your life and that cage is better than this cage and so forth.

Travel Alone to Know Who you are.

I have been a solo traveler and have travelled across India and abroad, all alone. I travel with myself to know who I am. This doesn’t have to be a far away place. You can travel across your neighbourhood and visit different corners of the city all alone, try a new restaurant, go to a new library, visit a temple alone.

This is an exercise I do regularly to understand who I am. Travelling gives us a sense of freedom and the understanding of our own spirit, which the mind tries to enslave for the pursuit of worldly goals.

To know thyself, you have to get lost somewhere. A place where noone knows who you are and your existence is secondary. A place where your spirit can breathe.

A place where the mind sleeps and the spirit wakes up.

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