Today, the world is full of superlatives and over-exertion, which can cause stress. In the 90s, one was proud to have a timeshare at Katinkulta, or then proud of the fact that an all-inclusive trip to the Canary Islands was doable for the entire family. We no longer experience the joy these “small” things used to bring, and blame for this can certainly be placed on our culture and social media. How much can we enjoy our own vacation in the midst of a crush of tourists, when our neighbor is posting pictures of their year-long, around-the-world vacation? If it’s not possible for us to escape work for a year with a backpack, it’s at least expected that our vacation destination is a five-star luxury spa with a personal butler and cook.
Traveling can easily be compared to love, because our own preferences can easily be forgotten under the pressure of social influence. Is it more important that I travel through every country, or would I enjoy more a vacation in a location which is so familiar that it has become a second home to me? Our own trusty travel companion can even begin to seem boring when compared to the public relationships with fill up social media.
The trap of comparing and the jealousy which comes with it can easily ensnare any one of us. Beautiful photos, and even better social media fairy tales, can play a dangerous game with our sense of reality. No matter how much we’d like to ensure ourselves that a polished picture on social media or talk in the coffee room is just an egotistical show, we can begin to see our own life as being small and insignificant.
An alternative is to take a more human approach. What if instead of spending my days searching for perfection, I would use the power of intuition – what seems to be the best for myself? I could admit that for me, the most important things are comfort and convenience, rather than bunjee jumping or deep-sea diving. And I could be proud of this. Of myself. And of my family’s identity.
Today, bravery and strength mean being yourself, even though this may not be the best and finest according to every metric. Happiness is built upon superlatives, but on your ability to believe in yourself. To make your own choices.