Travel as a Metaphor for Life

Every human goes in search of their own happiness: there are those who seek it in the stability of a home, some in the satisfaction of a job, some in faith. There are those who seek happiness within themselves and those who in living for others.

And there are also those who are happy when they travel.

But it is not news that traveling is one of the oldest and most loved activities by man. The urge to travel is part of human nature. There are many characteristics of travel that connect with some aspects of life. If we think about it, life itself begins with a journey: being born means leaving the primary comfort zone (the womb) to face the world, growing and learning (to speak, to think, to walk, to do things) through own experience.

In the history of humanity, but also in the animal world, the phenomenon of migration is recurrent and represents the search for a place where environmental conditions and the presence of resources can guarantee survival or offer better living conditions.

The road, even when it is made of dust, asphalt, or mud, can really be a road that leads the traveler first to discover the world and then himself. As well as being an experience addressed “outside” us, in the world coincides with a journey “inside” us, to discover the most hidden, dormant, or latent parts of our consciousness.

Through the identity of the traveler, one discovers what happens in a personality when he leaves his security to go in search of the new, which emotions accompany those who set out because traveling can be a means of personal growth and training.

The journey brings discoveries, encounters, unexpected events and, even if planned, it will never be as we expected. Nothing like traveling puts us in front of unexpected situations, sometimes wonderful surprises, sometimes less so; it makes us meet new, interesting, or unpleasant people, but necessary to understand a part of us and the world that we didn’t know existed.

Travel is a wonderful search for oneself: it makes us better, more aware, braver, freer. The journey, a powerful and full of implications symbol, is a metaphor for life.

During the journey, there are times when the road ahead is straight, while at others it is winding and difficult to travel. We can find unexpected events, let ourselves be surprised by the landscape and the locals, decide to make a stop, or proceed quickly to our destination.

So is the life, not all roses, and flowers, quite the contrary. Sometimes we have to go through difficult moments, but it is precisely those moments that push us to bring out the best and prove to ourselves what we are capable of.

One thing is certain: the travel will not be as we had planned, just like life. And, then, in life, one has to take risks to achieve your goals. We will never be really happy if we don’t live our adventures.

A journey, even if it is very long, can only begin with a single, simple step. It might seem like a trivial concept, but its meaning is actually more profound: the first step is the most tiring one because it often involves getting out of a static and inertia situation. The first step is the one that pushes towards change as well.

What matters about travel very often is the journey itself, not the destination. Just as meeting someone while traveling is very different from sharing it with someone.

This quote underlines the importance of having “travel companions”…… as in life, you aspire to find a company!

Sometimes the journey requires a certain amount of courage and serious commitment. Not unlike in life, we will always find a way to achieve our goals if we really put in the effort. It is courage, the will to do, and perseverance that brings results, regardless of the budget available.

The journey also leaves many memories but also the desire to start traveling again, to know other places, other cultures. During the journey of life, we must not let the past affect the present and future: it is okay to remember past successes, but they must not occupy too much of a place in our present. We must always strive to learn and to see more and more, to look forward.

One of the aspects that make a trip unforgettable is when we have experienced the wonder. And isn’t the key to a fulfilling life also to keep wondering?

A little-known quote, but beautiful in my opinion. It means that we must never stop looking on the bright side of life and appreciating even the little things and little goals of each day.

In the reasons for the trip, there are emotions and feelings that we find in everyday life. There is restlessness, which is the need to always know new things, let your gaze wander, get lost in the immensity of the world. There is the courage to leave one’s security, which then may also be the need to leave behind a daily life that suffocates.

Traveling allows you to know others, and through others, yourself. It allows you to discover unimagined alternatives, to free yourself from the bonds of social systems, based on the fixity of the person, on his continuity and immutability.

To find freedom, you have to get out of the structure of a single system and understand other cultures: it is the ability to choose the ways in which to give meaning to your life that allows you to be free.

The journey moves us from our “comfort zone”, it allows us to temporarily live outside our usual patterns, not only of behavior, but also and above all of thought. Every new experience (a new acquaintance, a new job or project), every time we leave our comfort zone, we go to the discovery of the world, but above all to the discovery of ourselves, of our true and full potential: very often the call it is irresistible, at other times we struggle with our fears even before taking the first step, and for this, the role played by the guide (or mentor) is important, that is a person, a situation, a book, anything that stimulates us, support and help in the journey….. and in the journey of our life!!

In this sense, travel does not mean “missing” oneself, becoming absent from one’s life, from one’s duties and responsibilities; on the contrary, where it is transformed into an experience of growth, exploration, opening towards the new and the different, it requires centering and presence, obviously together with a certain degree of openness and willingness to question oneself and change something in one’s own life.

Even the final part of the journey should not be understood as the logical and consequent appendage or happy ending of the story, but it represents an equally delicate and important phase: the return represents a fundamental phase of the journey. In fact, the risk is that the holiday and the journey can have been useless, that when one returns home everything remains the same and unchanged. But this is almost never the case: if the journey is a metaphor for life, you leave your own place of comfort (the Home, Mother, Family) to then return to one’s home, to the internalized Mother and Family, to the place of comfort that has been created for us, after having overcome the external and above all internal conflicts brought about by the confrontation with the new and the different, but also with the past and with the need to let go of the known.

The journey always leads to a return to oneself, to one’s higher self, to one’s roots: Dante’s journey ends with the return to Beatrice, a symbol of his soul, Ulysses’s journey is the return to Penelope and her kingdom of Ithaca.

There is no doubt, our life is a journey; what our conscience builds as an identity is the place of comfort, informed by family, socio-cultural, religious influence, but the call of our inner guide makes itself felt in us, which pushes us to leave, to look for jobs, places, people, relationships, situations in which to question everything, find new answers to questions of meaning, to return to our soul, following the destiny traced for us by karma, by God, by our higher self: the greatest gift what we can do to ourselves is to leave, take the journey within ourselves, follow the guide, face our fears, let go of the pain of the past, the weight of guilt, question our choices and come back renewed and purified, rediscovering, each time a little more, the great unknown territory that is our true self.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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  1. Aldo, your metaphor is apt and reflects on the analogy between travelling on roads or travelling the roads of life. Absolutely lovely metaphor.

    This you expressed so many times eloquently in your post such as “The road, even when it is made of dust, asphalt, or mud, can really be a road that leads the traveler first to discover the world and then himself.

    And “In this sense, travel does not mean “missing” oneself, becoming absent from one’s life, from one’s duties and responsibilities; on the contrary, where it is transformed into an experience of growth, exploration, opening towards the new and the different,”

    This post is a msterpiece

    • Too generous Ali.
      I am obviously happy to be able to count on your support and, above all, your unfailing attention.
      Hope all is well for you and yours.