Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and how you can use its waters to reflect on and improve your life.
This week’s selection comes from Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger. He cautions travellers against always giving in to their wanderlust:
Letter II: On discursiveness in reading, line 2.
What It Means
If you’re always on the go, you’re never really in one place. And if you choose to spend all of your time on the go, you’ll meet a countless number of people, but never make any lasting connections. Seneca believes true friendship is important to have in one’s life, but it takes time to cultivate.
What to Take From It
If you’re a world traveller who’s determined to see it all, consider what you’ll be left with once you’ve actually done so. We travel to make our lives more fulfilling, but for many of us that can only be done through sharing our experiences with others. If you have no friends to share your great adventures with, what is the point? The point of seeing it all is to share it all.
Or, if you have an undying case of wanderlust like I do but spend more time at home wishing you were travelling, take a moment to savour the good things that come from being at home. You have time to build strong relationships, which can often be more fulfilling than a trip to some exotic locale. Plan exciting trips, sure, but don’t belittle your much-needed down time.
Lastly, this is a good lesson for even non-travellers who tend to bounce around social circles. If being everywhere is being nowhere, knowing everybody is truly knowing nobody. It takes time to get to know people and build a lasting friendship, no matter how you live your life. It’s good to diversify, but invest in those people you care about and strengthen your bonds.