There is something incredibly fun and exciting about planning a trip away. I can lose hours to Skyscanner, hotel booking sites and Tripadvisor. The time spent planning flies by. My complete loss of a sense of time I attribute to two things. Escapism and ‘flow’.
I love travelling, I love the planning stages, the logistics, the excitement of seeing new things and even enjoy the journey despite the strain that is sometimes involved. Arranging a trip fires up a real passion inside of me, something that only a few other pursuits can really achieve. For the time I am gathering ideas and organising plans, I am 100% lost in the process. I am in a state that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would call ‘flow’.
The act of travel itself and dreaming of travel is a form of escapism. Taking a break from the day-to-day and doing something wildly different or spending time in a completely different place. Edinburgh is a great city, filled with history that many cities can’t even begin to compare to (hence why it is such a tourist hotspot) but in other areas it can’t compare to other destinations. The climate and beaches of the Meditteranean, the differing histories of countries like Greece and Italy, the tranquility and beauty of Fiji and Iceland. With so many places with so much to offer, escaping the routine and our usual locale is a tantalising prospect.
There is nothing wrong with escapism. It doesn’t always mean we are unhappy or bored, we can merely enjoy the entertaining aspect of dreaming. Norweigan psychologist Frode Stenseng outlined two forms of escapism. Escapism in the form of self-suppression, a negative pursuit that involves running away from the unpleasant and escapism in the form of self-expansion which is about gaining positive experiences or discovering new aspects of the self. I’m all about self-expansion, growing, learning and creating more positive experiences.
Life can be good and we can still want to escape.