WHY TRAVEL WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Throughout my education, I felt an enormous amount of pressure to do well in school, to go to university, to get a high paying job and a career, because that’s ‘the best way to do well in life’ (in their minds anyway). In today’s society, there is a set number, date, time and score on everything. Something that travel has taught me is completely incorrect and entirely deceiving.
Travelling young has been the best decision I’ve ever made in my (still young) life. I am only 20 for goodness sake!
Throughout school, I was frowned upon by teachers and mentors for not completing VCE. I had zero interest studying something that I had no desire in doing – what is the point, right? It became seemingly evident to me that there is far too much pressure put on students to get a “decent” job and to become “successful” in a prestigious career, that sadly, our happiness is often overlooked.
My first overseas trip (outside of the regular family NZ holiday) was at the age of 17. Since then, I really have caught the so-called “travel bug” and I really don’t want to stop. In the recent few years of travelling, here are the things that travel has taught me:
There is more to life than your job
Yes, you need money to survive, but your job is not everything.
Of course, you need an income to live, to pay your bills, to support your family (and ironically to travel) but don’t let your job restrict your goals in life. If you don’t want to go to university if you don’t know what ‘career path’ you want to take… it’s okay! Your job is not all your life is, nor will it ever be.
We work to live, we don’t live to work.
In almost every country you visit, things will be different to what you’re used to.
Every person, every country, every culture and every religion are different to one another, common sense I know. Not only have I learnt to respect different cultures, but also to respect that everyone around me is their own self. They have their own thoughts, their own views and their own mentalities.
I’ve learnt to deal with the fact that people won’t always agree, but that’s okay because there are certainly people that won’t agree with them either!
Waiting for trains, waiting for flights, waiting for food, lack of communication and basically just travel altogether – The things everyone will deal with on a trip.
Not only has travel taught me to be patient on a journey, but also that there really is no time limit to figure out your direction. You will never know what road you want to take until you take it. Experience new things, go somewhere new and try something you never have before; this is the only way you’ll discover what your future holds.
Although I still am a person who struggles with patience (like regularly having a meltdown at my incompetent internet) it certainly has helped me to understand that things really do take time!
Appreciate the roof over your head, the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the toilet you use, the people you have and the life you live. If you’re reading this on your laptop, phone or tablet, that is something to be incredibly grateful for, because there are people who don’t even have a place to sleep or a pillow to lay their head.
You don’t need anybody to tell you what to do, where to go or how to live.
You do you!
Love your life
The number 1 thing travel has taught me is to be thankful for what I have, because there are always people who have far less than me. In no way do I think that all issues in first world countries are not real issues, because a lot of them are… But travel has really put my life into perspective.
There are people suffering, people dying and people crying for help… And here I am in my cosy bed with electric blanket, typing this on my Apple laptop, whilst sipping a cup of tea. My life is pretty great don’t you think?
Basically what I’m trying to say, is that life will take you places that you didn’t think it would. You may have a passion now and in time that might change. It may be a few weeks, a few months, a few years, or it might never! Life is crazy, let it take you where ever it desires. Don’t let anybody lead you to believe that what you are doing is wrong. If you don’t want to go to uni, get a high paying job or a degree, then don’t. If you’re a lawyer, if you’re a doctor, a waitress or a teacher, and you are unhappy… What is the point?
Travel will teach you that life is much more than what’s at your doorstep, where you work, or the country in which you live. The world is much bigger than you could ever imagine; there are so many things to experience, places to see and people to meet… so go!
Don’t waste your life doing something you don’t love, spending time with someone you don’t love or being in a place you don’t love. Society will try and tell you that you could be doing something better, but I am one to tell you that that is far from the truth. Step your foot on a plane, and jet set off to somewhere new. It will teach you things that will change your life, show you things that will influence your thoughts and take you places that will open your heart.
Travel has taught me to follow my dreams.
So that’s what I’m doing and I’ve never been happier!