“Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”
It feels like every time I go on Facebook there’s someone announcing a baby, a house or an engagement. I’m 22 so most of my friends fall within the 20-25-year-old age bracket. But it made me think, I couldn’t even imagine that type of commitment even at 25, let alone right now.
If you’re an avid reader of my blog and follow along on social media, you’ll know travel is, and has always been, a top priority in my life. No matter how close or how far, I have always chosen to invest my time and money in travel over almost anything else, and many people I know tend to disagree with that.
I can’t count the times in the past I’ve heard “where do you find the money and the time?” or “shouldn’t you be saving?” But then I think, isn’t the whole point of life to live; to choose your own path and focus on what makes you happy? Yes, starting to save up for a house or something permanent would probably be very safe and smart, but it wouldn’t make me any happy. It wouldn’t do anything for me other than provide comfort and keep me locked down for a very long time.
I’m just not okay with that. In fact, it kind of leaves my chest feeling a little tight.
I would rather put my money towards seeing the world.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
Travel allows you to step outside your own world and see your life from a third perspective. It puts almost all your stress at ease and makes you realize you don’t need to worry about most of the things you usually do at home. When you’re stuck in a rut living out the same routine every day at home, you lose sight of what truly matters in life.
IT CHALLENGES YOU
In the short time that I have traveled, I have learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined. It pushes you to your absolute limits and challenges your mental and physical strengths. These challenges come in many different forms – from missing airplanes and being stranded on islands, to navigating foreign train stations and parachuting over mountains. Traveling isn’t all smooth sailing, the reality is there’s lots of mishaps and unexpected turns (literally going to glue my passport to my hand so I don’t lose it for the 84023987th time). Although incredibly frustrating at the time, these become invaluable life lessons. But nothing declares your independence and growth more than conquering challenges on a day to day basis. It really encourages you to come out of your shell, meet other people, and gain self-confidence. You learn to think on your own two feet. When you invest in travel, you invest in yourself.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
Travel doesn’t just make you appreciate different cultures, it makes you experience them. It allows you to embrace how the locals live. It opens your eyes to different ways of living. There is more than one way of thinking, doing and living. It’s one thing to read and learn about a city, but it’s another thing to stand foot in it, and have a local show you around. When you embrace cultural and environmental differences, you can look at those in your own community without judgment and a better appreciation.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME
Words will just never do justice to some of the great travel moments I’ve experienced. Those memories are ones I’ll hold onto forever and that can make me smile even in the worst of situations. Some I can hardly believe happened and feel so surreal to think about. I would trade any material possession to relive those moments. Get lost in the medieval streets of Prague, dance until sunset in the bars of Cuba, embrace the crowds of times square, paraglide over Rio, and go on a 4WD off-road adventure in the middle east… Why live an ordinary life when it is meant for so much more?