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Many people still think travel is a luxury they can’t afford. And what’s more, they don’t see the need for it and feel they don’t have any reasons to travel.
While we all love a well-earned rest and a week in the sun from time to time, many of us will do anything to avoid getting out of our comfort zone. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Our comfort zones are nice, warm, fluffy places, full of wonderful things.
I’ve been there. I love my comfort zone. I sometimes cling to it as if my life depends on it. But my experience with travel over the last few years has forced me to step outside the warm, fluffy box I made for myself. And, while living outside the box is sometimes scary and unpredictable, it’s a great place to be.
Over the last five years, I’ve changed a lot. I left college with huge ideas of what I wanted to accomplish in my career, with dreams of getting to the top. And for a few years, I worked full-time and loved it! I carried on in that rat-race for a while, thinking it was what I wanted to do. But then I discovered travel.
In March 2014, I decided to book a trip. I saw a fantastic deal on a trip to The Gambia, West Africa and went for it. The beaches looked nice, we’d get to check out the local culture and try some new food. But at the time I had no idea how much this trip would change my life.
Without going into too much detail about The Gambia, the experience changed my perspective and gave me so many reasons to travel more. It challenged me and taught me that there is more to life than earning money and owning ‘things’.
I stepped out of my comfort zone, saw the world in a different light and realised what I was missing out on. Before this trip, my world revolved around getting ahead, working towards the next promotion and socialising with friends. But I realised this wasn’t how I wanted to live.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that lifestyle. If that’s how you choose to live and you’re happy, that’s great! But I knew that if I carried on living that life, I would wake up at 80 and look back feeling disappointed and unsatisfied. I had to get out there and see the world! I wanted experiences, not material possessions.
I’d love to say that I quit my job and have been travelling full-time ever since. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I have to work part-time to pay for my travels. But working part-time, I fit in as much travel as I can, pinching the pennies to make sure I can afford to travel regularly.
I recently saw a quote that struck a cord. You may have heard it before…
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.’
I want to tell you to try it. If it’s not for you, at least you gave it a shot. But if it is for you, you won’t look back.
We were never meant to just pay bills and die. But that is what the consumerist system will have you doing. Life is about more than that.
So, travel! Just do it! Get out and see this beautiful planet and the amazing people who inhabit it. There is no finer way to experience the life we are gifted with. Don’t let life escape you! Do you need any more reasons to travel?