≡ Menu

Travel Lifestyle Frees Self from Persona

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Digg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Travel Frees the Self from Persona

In travel, people are striped down to their root form. Nobody knows anything about you, you are preceived exactly how you act in the moment of the acting — there are no previous bearing on your action, you are not hemmed in by your past, nobody knows how you should be acting — and noone can every nudge you in the ribs to let you know that you are acting out of character. In fact, traveling almost strips a man from character — the social building blocks that you have constructed that shows “you” do not exist, you are building from scratch each moment.

You are free to be your own cerebral creation — who would be the wiser?

In travel, there is no such thing as precedent, nobody knows you, we only know our generalizations about your country and people, we only know you from how you dress and the things that you say — maybe we try to hem you in through a very broad analysis.

hierarchy of needs

Hierarchy of needs


Traveling places full control of a person’s hierarchy of needs on to the individual. There is no social group to cultivate or provide you needs, as you must do it yourself. Once this control is grasped it is difficult to give up again.

Opinions on people are made instantaneously in travel, sometimes intuitively, sometimes ignorantly. People listen to what you say about yourself, how you move, and assemble a comeplete puzzle from very few pieces. Nobody knows your history when you travel, the clues that you give are the only indications that people will have as to where to place you.

You are free to be your own character.

In travel, you are as you do: there is no other way to know who or what you are. If you foul out in the social game, you just move to a next town, repair your vision of yourself, forget, and try again. Few mishaps will follow you if you don’t let them, you decide who you are in the moment.

Nobody knows you. The work of persona is yours alone, the job cannot be sub contracted to others.

It is my impression that this freedom — having a very broad set of social parameters which define you to yourself — is one of the biggest hooks of the traveling life. Once you have felt the social barriers eased up, once you truly know that you are the only referee on your words and actions, it is difficult to go back into the box — to go home.

To have to measure the persona that you have allowed to grow without check up against the reality of social integration.

Travel frees the self from persona

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Digg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone
Filed under: Central America, Mexico, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s travels:

Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap