A recent conversation with one of my nieces about travel and what it is that makes us want to constantly leave our normal lives behind and see what else is out there got me thinking about why I love to travel.
I said to my niece, who has been to Vietnam, LA , Thailand and just returned from Bali where I think she found her bliss – that there is one place that will spark something in you that will make you realise that you want to see more. For me it was London (reasons why will be revealed in a post I will be uploading on the weekend), for my niece it looks like Bali was that place. There is a trigger that will make you sit up and realise that all this time you could have been out there seeing the world, instead of your humdrum life.
She asked me how I do it, how I come back after having an awesome trip and not be depressed. The answer was pretty simple really, I start planning the next one! I usually have at least two trips in the planning stages at one go because a) I love to plan! and b) I need something to look forward to! I am always looking at where I want to go next, how I’m going to get there and even what is it going to take to get me there. Am I going to have to save for months on end to get what I want or is it somewhere I could travel to cheaply and easily.
Have a Bucket List. Have a list of places that you absolutely must visit, those places that you would like to go to one day and those places that you could go to over and over again. Are you going to take a year or two off and just travel around, making money under the table where you can or are you going to save for a year and just go as far as the money will take you.
Me personally, I like to spend about 3-4 weeks somewhere – some people might class me as a tourist, personally I hate the label. I don’t think I should be looked at a certain way just because I don’t desire to share a room with 20 other unwashed people all trying to find ourselves in that backstreet of Budapest. I like a certain level of comfort and I’m not going to apologise for that. I work damn hard to get money to pay for my trips, the least I am going to do for myself is make myself comfortable. That is not dis barraging those people who do like to share a room with 20 other people – it’s just not me!
I think you should figure out why you travel. Are you trying to one-up your mate, are you trying to find yourself or do you just find pleasure in going to new places and experiencing new cultures. I travel because of my Bucket List. I’ve had two places on there since forever; Petra, Jordan is at the top of the list because of a seminar I went to when I was about 14 about the Kingdom of God. Petra was one of the places they talked about and it has stuck with me ever since – then I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and that cemented two things for me – my absolute need to go to Petra, and my love for all things Crusader! Petra I haven’t been to yet but the other one I’ve been to, twice. That other place was London and for me that was where the spark was lit. I came back from that trip a changed person.
Everyone is different too. Some people are quite happy to sit in their lives and not get out and see the world. And you know what, there is nothing wrong with that. I wish they would get out and see the world because there is so much to offer but travel is not for everyone. Some people can’t sit still and crave to be away from home for months on end going to as many exotic and remote places as they can. After travelling around a little I know that I love cities, history and architecture. I like to visit places that give me those to things. Only you can figure out what makes you tick when it comes to travel. Also you aren’t going to love every place you visit. There is nothing wrong with that either! Some places will leave a lasting impression on you and some will just be a memory.
I have a simple motto that I live by:
It’s a pretty simply philosophy really and the great thing is, it doesn’t have to be overseas! Go somewhere in your own country that you haven’t been before!
And finally… the time is now! If not now, when? I spent most of my life plodding along and now that I am nearing middle age I have finally found that thing I love!