“Travelling the world sucks”… said no one ever.
Have you ever found yourself having thoughts of packing all of the beautiful things that you own into tacky cardboard boxes, quitting the job that you’ve worked so tirelessly years on end for, or scary hallucinations about leaving behind you closest family and friends, just to drift out into the pure daring unknown? At all? Ever? If the answer to this question is ‘definitely,’ ‘a number of times’, ‘maybe once or twice,’ or ‘no, not really,’ then travel IS for you. Travel is for everyone. Some people just simply don’t know it.
1. Travelling the World Sucks
…said no one ever. When you are travelling, you are living the best days of your life. All day, everyday. Cliché but true. Ok, maybe not in regards to packing and unpacking your backpack or suitcase but there are ways to combat that too! But honestly, no matter which fellow traveller you talk to, all will agree to the above statement.
2. You Gain Appreciation That You Didn’t Have Before
Ok, so we all see the horrific images that bombard our tvs of people who live in such horrible circumstances, violence and fear day in day out in different parts of the world right, and know that ‘we’ve got it good.’ But what does that really mean? Going travelling will leave you with a new-found gratitude for your life and how ‘good’ you really do have it. Talking to local people first hand, hearing their childhood stories of horror, seeing house upon house sprayed in bullet marks and blown out empty apartments that were once people’s homes like in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegonia or the tiny over crowded apartments scattered hill after hill in suburban Italy, will without doubt, hit home. Believe me, your whingeing of ‘first world problems,’ like your phone running out of battery too quickly, will make you feel like a queen compared to how others endure life.
3. You’re Given a Sense of Freedom
Walking on the old marble floors, city after city, amongst the swarms of thousands in the hot summer time or wandering around intimate small towns amongst the snow-capped mountains and fresh air, with people speaking a mix of foreign languages, travel will certainly leave you feeling liberated. You can be who ever you want, present yourself how ever you please and act in accordance to how you are feeling within that moment. No one knows you and you are unlikely to see any of these passer-by’s, ever again. Be free. It’s totally satisfying.
4. You Are In Control of Your Journey
After using Google Earth for hours on end and doing your research over the web, when you finally decide on which country to visit next and what fun things you can possibly squeeze into your limited time in that particular place, you will find your self truly living happily, every second of every day. And you will have a lifetime of memories prove to it.
5. You Will Learn to Back Yourself
When you’re away from all you have ever know and find your self standing at a train station in Paris, studying the subway map trying to figure out which train line and direction you should be taking to get you to where you need to go, and you cannot understand the pronunciation of the destined train stops over the loud-speaker, or when you’re driving over the other side of the world, on the other side of the road to what is considered ‘normal’ at home, in peak hour 14 lane traffic, sitting on the left side of your car instead of your right, you WILL be forced to make decisions, attempt to speak in another languages, use logics and avoid getting lost. And you WILL get lost. And you WILL make mistakes. But it is through these experiences that your confidence will slowly grow and you will begin to believe in yourself more and more. This in itself is rewarding. Trust me.
6. Nothing Changes
Arriving back in my small town after 5 months away, big changes were notable; a few trees cut down here and there, a road being widened and a new café reopened. Well at least these were the things that everyone is talking about. Nothing changes. Everything will still be the same as before you left and you will in fact be different. Your friends will be insistent on discussing what parties they went to whilst you’ve been gone, who is now engaged to who and which character died on last weeks episode of Home and Away. Thrilling I know.
7. You WILL Meet Friends for Life
You will return home and feel yourself becoming annoyed when asked the stereotypical question ‘Where was your favourite place?’ for the 20th time. And feel frustrated when your friends show little interest in your experiences of sailing along the Adriatic sapphire coloured water of Croatia in the summertime or hiking in the magical Swiss alps. You may also feel like a complete douche when you find yourself repeatedly starting your sentences with something like ‘When I was in Paris…’ Only fellow travellers can understand the memories you have made, and thus will may just be your travel buddies again sometime in the future, or if not at least, you both will make an effort to hang out back at home. No excuses.
8. Everyone Should Travel
Whether you are 17, just finished school and contemplating a gap year, go travel. Whether you have kids or they have just left home, go travel. Whether you are 66 years old, go travel. And I have seen 66 year olds with more energy than those in their 20’s, as they are truly happy being lost in the world. No word of a lie.
Decide on it, plan it, chat to people about it and work on it. Every single day. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant overseas trip. It may simply be a camping weekend away down the coast with your family. No matter how close or far the destination may be, travel will leave you feeling happy and rejuvenated. After all, travel has the ability to change your mind-set, push you to question your values and beliefs, and give you a new-found positivity for life, without joining a cult. Its refreshing, try it.
9. Collect Moments, Not Things’
Sure, owning a house, buying those pretty stiletto shoes or purchasing a new surfboard for your quiver can be enticing, but they really will not make you a better off. Travelling the world will give you rich one-off experiences, make you memories for life, give you further awareness of others and yourself, and can allow you opportunities to give back to others as well. So start saving your shrapnel.
10. Last of All, No Regrets
Travelling certainly does not leave you with regrets. In fact, it’s the opposite. Take it from my 59-year-old dad who was persistent on never having an interest in travel. He gave in, and first went overseas at age 55 and says it’s the best thing he has ever done to date. So if you have ever contemplated travelling, just stop the excuses, plan it, make it happen, and have no regrets. It really will be one of the best things you ever do. Go get amongst it. Go travel.