Resource url Traveling is something that comes naturally to some and is seen as a distant luxury for others. No matter what the case may be, the importance of travel can not be understated. After all, when you travel, you open yourself up to countless new experiences, allowing you to truly discover yourself and discover the outside world. While the importance of travel is well-known, many remain unaware of the profound and insightful saying often associated with it, “When you travel your first discovery is that you do not exist.”
This saying has been attributed to many of history’s greatest writers, thinkers, and even musicians. While no one can be definitively attributed for the saying, many have pointed to legendary author and political activist, Paulo Coelho, as being its creator. Interestingly, Coelho actually credits the saying to a much earlier figure—the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Despite Coelho and Lao Tzu’s past connections with the saying, modern media often credit musician Erick Now—of the group, Atmosphere—for coining the phrase.
Lost among the attributions for the phrase, is the profound message within it. “When you travel your first discovery is that you do not exist” touches upon the idea that travel allows us to truly break away from the limiting societal conventions we often struggle with. It also implies that discovering unknown places, cultures, and perspectives allows us to truly explore ourselves and the world around us, allowing us to take the necessary steps to finding our true selves.
Whether the phrase originates from Lao Tzu, Paulo Coelho, or Erick Now is up for debate. However, regardless of the source, the message still carries the same weight: when traveling, you will discover yourself—or discover that you do not exist—as you explore the unknown.