Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Alan Estrada, a popular actor and singer from Mexico – and currently full-time travel blogger. At the peak of his career and fame, Alan decided to break away from acting to focus on his passion for travel. He shares the reasons for that life-changing decision.
This is what Penelope Cruz’s character says when the three-way relationship between her, Cristina and Antonio is about to end in one of my favourite Woody Allen movies, Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona. For me, chronic dissatisfaction is the twenty-first century disease.
I am an actor. A real actor.
What I mean is that I work as an actor. I’ve made a good living as an actor since 2000 but I haven’t been on stage or in a film for almost ten months. Why is that?
|Alan in the Mexican production of Spring Awakening. Photo credit: Alan Estrada|
There it is. I have more than I ever could have dreamed of but far less than what I think I need to be happy.
Everyday I wake up and I feel like a child, almost as if I’m starting again. Then I look at myself in the mirror and realise I’m no longer a kid. Still, it’s funny to think about it.
You see, the difference between me and the child I used to be is that right now I have a past, a history. And I’ve spent a lot of my time searching in my memories and looking for something more meaningful. I have a feeling that in my “real” childhood I didn’t learn all of the basic rules of life.
Right now I’m learning as much as I can but I’m getting older. At this pace, I’m going to be really old by the time I figure out just how life should be lived. In other words, when I finally learn how to truly live life, I could be about to die – and this isn’t very funny at all.
With this knowledge, I realised I had to travel.
I went searching for a life less ordinary which, in itself, is a strange thing because my acting life was anything but ordinary. But I needed to defeat this chronic dissatisfaction.
So I travelled.
I started my travel video blog seven years ago as a bit of fun.
It wasn’t meant to be much but it grew. Then I “officially” started the blog three years ago. Before I knew it, it became a “real job’ – I started to travel like crazy and now I realise it’s completely changed my life.
And I feel much better for it.
|Alan x el Mundo, this time in Nepal. Photo credit: Alan Estrada|
We all need jobs because we need the money. We try to get a great job because we often want the recognition that comes with it. And we want that recognition because we need to feel loved. We need to feel loved because, well, usually we just need it. Maybe we all need to take a shortcut and go straight to the “love” goal!
For me, everything changed once I started to travel.
For most people, travel is what they do when they have extra money and free time. It becomes something they only do on special occasions.
For me, travel is so much more than that. It’s a part of my life journey.
I can learn about this planet and about myself from travelling. I can be happy. I can be content. I can re-think many aspects of my life. Knowing this, I would never let myself go to that dark, sad place where travel is something you only do with extra time or extra money.
I ask myself whether travelling is the right remedy for this new disease called chronic dissatisfaction? I don’t know the answer to that but I do know one thing.
Everyone should walk away from their comfort zone at least once in their lifetime. Travelling is one of the best ways to do that. (feel free to tweet that.)
So I’m still on the road. Still trying to defeat my chronic dissatisfaction. I’m yet to reach my goal but, at certain moments, I feel like I’m the happiest person on earth.
And that’s enough for me.
When did you last step out of your comfort zone to try something new? Did you suffer from chronic dissatisfaction or from an urge to change your life up? Share your comments with Alan and I below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Host of the online travelling show, Alan x el Mundo, featuring everything travel-related from video blogs to tips and news, Alan has rapidly become one of blogging’s rising stars and a key figure on the travel circuit.
Alan is never short of interesting, inspiring stories from his travels and you can join him (and his 47,000 fans) on Facebook, find him at Twitter, on YouTube, or sharing unique images from his many travels over on Instagram.