Does Epicurus have the cure?

Does Epicurus have the cure?

One of my strongest desires is to travel, live abroad, and experience new cultures. Epicurus would argue that this desire is an unnecessary luxury and will not likely lead to a happy and pleasurable life. Epicurus argues that to live a happy life we must learn to be content with as little as possible and not have strong, unnecessary desires. He argues that pursuing unnecessary desires will lead to anxiety, suffering, and disappointment. While I generally agree with this and aim to live accordingly, some desires and pursuits (such as travel and higher education) are worthwhile because they provide long term, consistent happiness and tranquility, that far outweighs any short-term pains and discomforts. In my experience, travel has led to significant pain and discomfort. I worked overtime for many months, did not eat healthy foods to save money, became anxious about traveling to foreign countries, slept in uncomfortable hostels, and got very sick while abroad. Despite this, travel has led to a tremendous amount of personal growth, wisdom, unwavering gratitude for life and opportunities, provided insight into new cultures, philosophies, long term friendships, and helped me learn to enjoy each moment. Effectively, travel has led to wisdom that I could not have developed anywhere else, more comfort in the life that I have, and taught me how to live with more tranquility. The benefits of travel have far outweighed any drawbacks that have come from it. While more tranquility may have been possible without the strong desire and pursuit of travel, following this advice would have led me to live with more ignorance, less wisdom, less empathy, and less curiosity. Additionally, these values may be equally as important as happiness, and long-term tranquility/happiness may not be possible without them. While I agree that it would be wise to eliminate strong, unnecessary desires for material success and most things in life, values such as travel, pursuing philosophy, and learning have benefits that far outweigh the negative consequences. If Epicurus had followed his own advice, he may have pursued his passionate desire to write and educate the world about philosophy.

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