A friend, during a conversation about her travels told me something like this – ” When I travel I just do these things you know, go check out the best, must see, famous out of the way spots. I just search for the top ten things to do and schedule my days to cover as many of those places and things as possible. I don’t really like to rest. Since I am there for only a short period of time, I want to see as much and do as much as possible.”
When I heard this, my reaction was ‘Aha! You have the Apocalypse Mentality”. And I sure recognize this – because I used to travel this way as well, used to live my life this way before. Before, because nowadays, I don’t know – something has changed..
I came across the term ‘apocalypse mentality’ for the first time in Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts.
It is the way of living like this is the only time you get to see the place, like the only time you get to live. Because after this one time, there is the apocalypse, and you can never ever be there again, never ever live life again.
Another friend of mine lives her life this way too. “Life is short. I want to do so many things. I don’t know how long I will live. So while I’m alive, I don’t want to waste time. So I try to do all these things. So I really don’t have any time to rest. Since resting is wasting time. ”
All very valid points. We really don’t know when we die. We don’t know what happens. Time is really short. And I totally see the point in this. After all, this is the productivity argument right?
I used to be a believer in this apocalypse mentality. But of late, I am not so sure that is the way I want to live my life anymore. Productivity is good. But how about presence?
Since this is the only time I’ll be doing it, how about just relaxing through travel, relaxing through life rather than being in a hurry to check that box and move on to the next thing?
How about travelling with the mindset that since I am here, and don’t know when I’ll be here again, let me plan these activities, and then these spaces between the activities, these opportunity windows to just savor the travel expeience and luxuriate in life?
How about seeing and living and really feeling and really enjoying…rather than living life like a series in a checklist – check one, and off to the next without a pause, without a backward or forward glance, without a breath?