Travel is Self-Improvement
The road to nowhere is the quickest road to yourself.
When you change your surroundings, you are forced to look within yourself. This process is akin to taking off a mask and looking at the person underneath. Often, when someone takes away the coating and reveals the body underneath, they scramble to attach to something familiar, their past, the conflicts in their life, their successes.
On the road, I find that I attach to my past often, thinking about the stories I've told myself to define myself to give a sense of purpose and stability to my existence. This is why some people describe the road as both lonely and freeing.
Because it is both.
Being thrust into yourself is an experience that can be terrifying. You no longer have anything to hide behind. No way of blaming your surroundings, as they are now undefined, changing. The only constant is the guy (or gal) staring back at you in the rear view mirror as you cut off that 18-wheeler, flipping him off on the open road.
Lonely because you have nobody else, and until you are comfortable with yourself, being alone is synonymous with loneliness. Freeing because all the bullshit and conflicts associated with your previous surroundings fall off and are seen as dust, when each day is filled with socializing, making out with foreign girls in random alleyways of strange smelling cities, and gumbo.
The world opens up to people who travel, both inside and out. It can be scary, as it should be, to face one's self so bluntly. But it is necessary if you seek to get closer to your true self and Unchain Yourself from your past and your surroundings.
Funny thing is, some blogging friends I'm learning more about have a blog called "Road To Self." They, a nurse and an "enginerd" travel around and speak about the practicality of it and the lessons they've learned on the road. Check them out! They're cool, folks.