Almost every day I stir awake to a single powerful thought, “I am still traveling”. This wonderful little fact makes my imagination run wild with ideas of what my future holds and encompasses many thoughts about my life philosophies. Out of all my goals in life, I have one I believe in to the core of me. It is this very simple and at the same time complex goal. Every day I can improve myself, and that by doing this, I can discover more about who I am. Through much trial and error, I am slowly discovering who I am and where I want my life journey to take me. Places, people, and experiences constantly evolve me into someone new.
This brings two questions to mind.
1- If I am constantly changing, can I ever really know who I am?
2- How does travel fit into discovering who I am?
Why I Travel Nonstop
Goosebumps crept up my arm as I gazed out of the plane window at Ireland for the first time. Something inside of me clicked. Suddenly, I wasn’t the same person that had been sitting in the seat a moment ago. Thoughts, dreams, and ideas were racing through my head; the world was a real place, with numerous countries to explore and exciting adventures to experience. Wanderlust grabbed me that day and it hasn’t released its hold 8 years later. You could say it was the moment I discovered my Personal Legend. I would long term travel was the lifestyle for me.
This means that travel is more to me than moving from country to country seeing the world, chasing sunsets, seeing sights, and meeting people. Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with the historical sights of Italy, the beaches of Thailand, and the rolling hills of the Scotland highlands, but travel also gives me something more. It has a way of changing your mindset about what the world is really like, how friendly the people in it truly are, and despite our different cultures, how many similarities we really share. It causes you to realize that there is much more to the story than what you’ve hear and that you don’t have to be terrified by every news report.
Over the years, I have found kindness in the most unlikely of places. I have seen the kindness of strangers, and Russian police officers, and locals who made sure I was okay when I didn’t have a clue how to travel, and from the Indian woman who bought me a coffee five minutes ago because I am in the Delhi Airport without any Rupees. These moments stick with me along with some where I acted badly. They haunt me (another story) but no one said this quest was perfect.
Personally, travel is an outlet for me. Backpacking is my passion, my lifestyle, and the way I want to spend my life for years to come, but it is not just about the sights, food, culture, and adventure. It is about the journey. When I am traveling, I feel a sense that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. These feelings give me the opportunity to discover quickly who I am.
A couple years after Ireland, during my first solo backpacking trip through Europe, I wrote in my journal, “When I travel, I find pieces of myself.”Every new adventure and experience gives me another tiny piece and I am slowly putting together the puzzle of who I am.”
Travel is a process of victories and defeats, and resets and restarts. If you have the courage to take a chance and see it through, travel will reward you with some of the best experiences, memories, and life changing events that will flip your world on its head. Drive This is why I am driven to travel. I love rocking my world. I get a lot of emails asking me about my budget and what drove me to save so much. So far I have purposely avoided writing a post on this subject (though I might cave soon) because it doesn’t matter what I did, it matters what you know you can do. For two years I woke up, went to one of my three jobs, and worked my ass off.
Travel Gives Me Drive
The whole time, a single drive and dream pushed me towards the things I wanted the most in the world. Each leg of the journey, I proved to myself that if there was something I wanted bad enough, I was capable of making it happen. I was willing to put in the work, fight until I couldn’t stand, and never ever give up. It is a great feeling to know you have not only the drive and determination, but also the ability to persevere. Freedom One of the best things about traveling is the unlimited freedom you have. It never gets old. I do what I want, when I want, and where I want. I work when I want and sleep when I want. If I want to change plans at the last second, I can. I don’t report to a boss or someone in charge. The only deadlines and challenges are the ones I set for myself.
Backpacking Gives Me Freedom
Freedom to me is key when traveling because it opens so many doors to moments you would otherwise let pass by. These tools: drive, determination, perseverance, and freedom have continually pushed me to become a better, more educated, and informed person. They have thrust me forward to grow, learn, stretch, and evolve. They have revealed to me, little by little, who I am and what I am capable of and since I am constantly learning about who I am, traveling never get old.
My mission is not only to see the world, but to discover myself more and more and I say to the world, “Bring it on”.
What do you think? What does travel give you?