Guest Blog: The Great Affair is to Move

I have never publicly written about my traveling experience, sure you may see a post here or there on social media, or a picture — but in writing in a public domain? Never. I’m happy that today this changed. I’ll keep it brief as this is blog post and not a dissertation!

I won’t bore you with the details of my day to day life as a teacher, writer, and activist in the San Francisco Bay Area, or talk about my childhood in Coventry, England — a city I love dearly. But what I will talk about is my love for movement.

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I love to move. I love to be on the move. I don’t even have to be going anywhere special, I enjoy the journey of traveling. As the great Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” This quote stuck with me more so than any other. It impacted my worldview. It was reassuring to hear that I was not alone — that my nomadic sense of self was normal.

In 2017 I put that quote to the test. I resigned from my job with the Department of Homeland Security and went traveling. I left with the intention of being back in three months’ time — that quickly changed. I spent almost the entire year traveling and in the mean time I solo-backpacked through 17 European countries. I documented my journey in my personal journal and I dedicated an entire Instagram account to this.

I traveled because I wanted to see more of creation. I wanted to understand myself better. I wanted to see and meet people who did not look, act, sound, or think like me. I was surprised to find that I had so much more in common with people in Croatia than I ever imagined, I didn’t know the joy that Budapest could offer, or just how historical Rome was. I knew I would enjoy myself. I didn’t know traveling would change me.

I get that saying I was changed on my trip is super cliché. It truly sounds silly. But I cannot overstate this enough; if you feel like traveling and seeing the world — do it. Save money, sell your possessions, embark on a mission. I would much rather spend my money creating memories in destinations around the world than to stay in one place.

I understand that isn’t for everyone — I have a deep desire to move, to travel, to take leaps of faith. I don’t think there will be a day when I’ll be “too old” to travel. I have such a yearning in my soul to see the beauty of this world in all its glory. I cannot do that behind a desk, or in front of a classroom. For me to accomplish my goal — of being a well-traveled, educated, and cultured person — I must travel. For my greatest affair, my greatest sense of liberation, is to move.

You can keep up to date on my travels by following me on Instagram: @Toppic_ or my traveling account: @makethepinmove

Thanks so much for your post, Marcus! If you’re interested in being featured in a guest blog entry, visit my Contact page above and shoot me a message!

Until next time,

Haleigh xoxo

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