There are two types of people who read travel blogs and adventure stories: those who travel and those who long to leave everyday life behind and hit the vast open road. I seem to drift somewhere between the two as I am forever dreaming of my next adventure if I don’t already have a trip booked!
I am currently planning two overseas adventures that will both occur in the second half of this year. The first trip in September will see me, and a few of my close mates, charter a yacht through the Mentawai island chain in Sumatra, Indonesia. Fortunately for me, my friend Ben did the legwork on this trip so all I have to do is pay my money, pack my surfboards and turn up to the airport at the right time.
The second trip, as you may have already read in a previous post, is our four-month adventure through South America and up into Cuba and Mexico. Originally, we didn’t plan to cover so much ground and stretch ourselves in terms of time and budget, but the lure of Cuba at this important juncture in its history was too great to ignore.
This brings me to the main point of this post: 3 reasons to drop everything and travel now. Obviously there are more than three reasons, however I thought about it long and hard and these are the three that stand out to me most.
You will grow beyond your wildest dreams
Throughout my life to this point, I have been fortunate enough to travel for extended periods of time. As a child my parents took my sister and I out of school for months at a time and took us on the road with them as we drove the length and breadth of North America and Canada, survived hurricanes in Hawaii and ventured out in the stifling heat to explore Singapore. These trips taught me some important life lessons that I never would have learned in the classroom.
As soon as I finished high school I took off on a two-year jaunt through Asia and Europe where I was exposed to cultures, foods and ways of life that I had never encountered before. At this young age, I took some risks, some paid off and changed my life for the better while some didn’t and saw me either being robbed of all my money or spending days on end within arms reach of a bathroom!
Life is an ever-evolving journey. There will never be a point where I will stop learning and know everything, and for me, travel is the best way to open my eyes to new experiences. These experiences, and the people I meet along the way, have enriched my life and made me the person I am today.
The world is constantly changing and there are certain places you must see soon
As a kid I listened to older people tell me that the world was forever changing and that time waits for no one. It was difficult to understand what they meant by this exactly until I matured and travelled on my own. As you will have no doubt heard, Cuba is in the midst of a massive social shift in terms of how the government controls the economy and the people who live there. Cuba has been on my bucket list for a long time and I would forever regret not visiting while the country was still under the Communist stranglehold it has experienced since the revolution. Almost 15 years ago, I spent four days cruising down the Yangtze River in China before it was dammed and flooded and the beautiful valleys of the area were lost forever. There are some places in the world that are disappearing forever. Get out there and experience them before it’s too late!
I was fortunate enough the travel before the widespread use of smartphones and social media. In 2003, I set up my first email account so I could write home every few weeks to let my parents know I was alive. Now, travellers have the ability to connect with friends and family and share their experiences instantly. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this aspect of contemporary travel but there is a certain allure that comes with travelling the world and being out of reach.
You will appreciate your life at home more
For many people from first world countries, appreciating what you have at home doesn’t come easy. We are taught from a young age to strive for more, to always be looking for opportunities to better our situation and ourselves. I have recently come to accept what I have and be happy with my current situation instead of always wishing for more. I think travelling and comparing my life to that of others around the world has increased my appreciation of where I am from and the people who are closest to me. I have also come to accept that I will forever have a yearning to travel and see the world, for without that I am not me. The difference now is that I have come to really appreciate the lovely place I call home.