To meet likeminded people and share your experiences
The hardest thing to do when you up and go to take on the big wide world is leaving behind your friends and family who you have known trusted and loved for most of your life. It takes years to build true friendships and unconditional bonds so when you go travelling the physical interaction with these friends is one of the things which can become hard to deal with. These people will never be forgotten and with the internet being one giant social hub nowadays you are only ever a click away from reuniting with friends and family which you had to leave. Personally I use Skype (A video chatting and phone call website) a lot to connect with my friends and family to ask how they are and keep them in the loop of what I’m up to. It’s obviously not the same as being with them in person but it’s a great substitute which is extremely effective.
When you’re actually on your travels I have found it impossible to not meet people. There are times where you end up in a place by chance and have to talk to people but there are times where people will just quite literally ask you how you are, where you’re from and how long you have been out and about. I can’t remember a time in England where (unless slightly intoxicated) I could just chat to somebody for no other reason than to just be polite and have them actually pay an interest. Out on my travels so far it couldn’t be more different from this! It seems that everyone is willing to chat to you and share their story which is absolutely fantastic. It makes you feel safe and does your self confidence wonders so if you are a timid person thinking it will be hard to get chatting then fear not, it all happens very naturally.
The people whom I have met have come from all walks of life and 90% have a very similar vision to mine which is to explore and push my boundaries as much as possible. I have met business people, hardcore travellers, old people, young people, people looking for work, party animals and most nationalities all from just wandering the streets, drinking at bars and staying in whatever accommodation I can afford. This would never happen at home just purely because I had too many work commitments and not enough money to venture further of my town. When you’re out travelling you have no choice than to go and explore so all these friendships and good times which occur, all form naturally. What are you waiting for?
To see some truly amazing sights
Before I came travelling I had been to a few continents and countries but only ever as small vacations or family holidays. At times these types of holidays are what you make of them and some I had a great time and took full advantage whereas others I would barely leave the small 1 mile perimeter of the city. So is this really seeing the sights or just extending my current life situation in a different country with only a few snap shots to bring back with me as souvenirs? I found the latter to be quite frequent and whilst the times I had were good there were time frames in place and commitments to adhere to which would often interrupt my vacations. With travelling however you don’t have a time frame so much and can cut loose or extend at your own leisure stress free and enjoy more of the places you feel comfortable travelling in.
Although I have only been out just over four months the amount of sights I’ve seen are phenomenal and will only grow and supersede one another. You get all your senses fired up with some funky smells, great beaches, jungle regions, packed out cities and arid landscapes. The scenery and some of the sunsets have been breathtaking and have had an extremely calming influence on me as a person which is vitally important for your health and well being. There is just so much to see and with humans being naturally inquisitive animals who like different experiences it is no shock to find that travelling will easily go hand in hand with this. Next time you find yourself looking at your computer’s screen saver at that well adjusted and timed photograph of that perfect beach ask yourself why you can’t go and see it for yourself along with many more like it!? With the right attitude and drive this is extremely easy to achieve.
Ditch the 9-5 and free yourself
Now not everybody will agree with me when I say that working to earn as much money as possible is not the right way to live your life. In many westernised countries people work their socks off using up a massive portion of their life to earn money and reward themselves with gifts to enjoy with their time off. If you are one of the lucky people who does work lots of hours but actually truly enjoy it then kudos to you, that’s great and I only wish I had experienced this.
Sadly I’m a bit irritable and a bit of a day dreamer so with all of my jobs in the past I have found myself numbed by the repetition which many modern jobs rely on. It was hard for me to concentrate when I was thinking up ways of how to leave it all behind and actually see more of the world and have more hours of free time. Travelling has allowed me to get back to my art roots and draw at my own pace whilst seeing the world. It has also given me more time to work on my websites like this one to offer my judgment (albeit not everyone will agree as sadly you can’t please everyone) and help inspire others to join me and the other thousands of people who are doing the same thing. When people say ‘life’s too short’ they mean it so by eliminating these hours of tireless work and watching too much TV you are then in the position where you work to live and not live to work. If you are one of the fortunate people who can just get up and go then for the love of god do it, don’t sit around guessing and asking ‘what if?’. The sense of being this free is amazing and made me question why I did all those hours just to get by. I have less money now than I did then (which wasn’t a lot anyway haha) but I am ten times happier living this way and not knowing what’s around the next corner.
Enjoy food authentically
I’m a huge ‘foodie’ so whilst on my travels I am aiming to try as many random cuisines as humanly possible. I want to be able to say I have tried insects, local delicacies which may seem ridiculous by the English stand point and basically just sample all the amazing flavours which the world has to offer, right from the source. Learning to cook with the locals to learn new skills and flavours would be absolutely fantastic so if I’m fortunate enough to be offered this experience I will be all over it.
The food which I have had so far (mainly in south east Asia) was some of the nicest food I had ever tried so going back there in the near future to eat again is one of the things I am most looking forward to. For me, I think the fact that knowing the food is locally grown and hasn’t travelled thousands of miles or been modified is the key to having the best possible and freshest meals available. This teamed with the way certain ingredients are used to complement each other in ways I wouldn’t know about by searching online is also something that I am very fortunate for. Supermarkets just don’t offer you enough variety now and it has become a modern fashion to now pay over the top prices to shop organically. You are literally paying over the odds to sustain your health – this seems very wrong and a prime example of capitalisation on something which quite frankly is an essential part of our lives…eating! So if you’re the same as me and not a ready meal junkie and like your flavours surely travelling the world has to be the only way to get your food locally and at its freshest.
Learn about other cultures and their ethical codes of conduct
This is an extremely important part of life as everybody is different. Understanding the way cultures are set in their ways and how they came about historically is very intriguing and can easily open your eyes to new ways of thinking and how you live your life. One culture may eat one thing where as another country may have that same thing as a sacred symbol so learning as you go along allows you to adapt to the country’s policies and be sure you’re not offending anyone else’s beliefs. Finding out how a typical day would be in other’s lives and seeing how much of a contrast there is to your own will also be a huge learning curve, and will once again broaden your outlook on life. Be open minded, be respectful and learning from others can only benefit you in the long run. Being too close minded and ignorant towards other people’s considerations is not productive at all and sadly there is too much of this ‘type of attitude’ circulating around the world. I have encountered so of the humblest people so far on my journey and I can honestly say it’s a beautiful thing to live life this way.
I hope this list will help your steer your decisions and cast a little light on how life can be when you’re on the road (or boat, plane, donkey) and with any luck inspire even just a little bit. Good luck and safe travels.