Many people still think travel is a luxury they can’t afford. Whatsmore, they aren’t convinced of the benefits of travelling regularly. Sure, a beach break in the sun once a year recharges your batteries, but hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, eating street food in Asia or driving the East Coast of Australia in a campervan? Why would you want to? What do you gain from it other than jet lag and a swollen credit card?
For ones who haven’t had the chance to travel, the benefits aren’t obvious. So in this blog post, I’m going to explain why I started travelling and how it has changed my life for the better and how it will hopefully change yours too.
Let me start by saying, I have changed a lot in five years. I left college with huge ideas of what I wanted to accomplish in my career with dreams of getting to the top. I worked full-time and loved it! I carried on as a worker bee until the start of 2014, when it all changed.
In March 2014, my friend Laura, and I decided to book a trip. Laura is a keen traveller herself so we didn’t want to go to a typical holiday destination. We did some research, shopped around and decided on a trip to The Gambia, West Africa. Up until this point I had been on a few holidays but never challenged myself or stepped outside my comfort zone, so I had no idea what to expect.
Without going into too much detail about The Gambia, (I’ll save that for another post -click here for 5 reason why you should visit The Gambia), the experience changed my perspective on life. It challenged me and taught me that there is more to life than earning money and owning material things.
I was a different person when I returned from that trip. (I know that’s a full-blown cliche but there’s no other way to say it). I stepped out of my comfort zone, saw the world under a different light and realised what I missing out on. Before this trip, my world had revolved around getting ahead professionally, working towards the next promotion and fitting in a night out with friends, but I realised this wasn’t living. At least it wasn’t how I wanted to live.
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that lifestyle. If that’s how you choose to live your life and you’re happy with it, 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 since, wouldn’t that be amazing!? But unfortunately, that isn’t the case as I have to work part-time to pay for my travels. But working part-time, I fit in as much travel as I can possibly afford and have time for. Check out this post to see How I Afford to Travel.
I recently saw a quote that rang true with me. 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 and it will occupy your every thought for the rest of your life. We were never meant to just pay bills and die. Life is about more than that. So, travel! Just do it! Get out and see this beautiful planet and the amazing people who populate it. There is no finer way to experience the life we are gifted with. Don’t let life escape you!