Stop, drop and travel
Responsibilities, commitments, relationships. These are usually the 3 key reasons for why people suffer with the decision of leaving on a jet plane. As important as it sounds, these factors are only as cumbersome as you make them out to be. It’s not that people who are able to throw everything out the window (metaphorically) and pack their lives into a backpack have no care about their future or the people they love. It’s because these people have managed to set aside what is really important to them personally and make a firm decision to prioritise what needs to be done in a particular chapter of their lives.
We see people everyday struggling to keep things in check, to climb the corporate ladder, to make a name for themselves, to meet expectations that others have of them. If these are the things that one prioritises, then it’s difficult to let go of such goals to travel. But even with all these “accomplishments”, there’s still a crave for more. More excitement, more adrenaline, more experiences that your home country restricts you from having – that’s where escapism eventually creeps in unknowingly.
Of course I’m not implying that it’s easy to just plan an escape and book a one way ticket. It’s never as simple as that. There will definitely be sacrifices that we have to make. Prioritising travel over work commitments or leaving your loved ones doesn’t necessarily mean being selfish. People often see travel as a form of relaxation, an ‘activity’ to get away from the real world, an escape to paradise. But let’s not forget that travel also educates – it shows us the flip side of situations in another land that we are not all too familiar with, it opens our eyes to cultures unknown to us, helps us to understand and see things in a fresh perspective. Making a conscious decision to put travel first is important for self-growth, and whoever wishes to think of this as being egocentric can sulk and drown in their own set of priorities.
if it’s a journey that someone has to take, then it’s a choice we all have to make for ourselves. From the little decisions to the big ones, it’s not much different if you compare in the context of going away on a long trip. The same way that we wake up in the morning and decide that we have to go to work, or preferring to stay home for a movie night instead of going out with our friends for a beer; these are all personal choices.
I see travel as an equal to anything else serious that I do, I see travel as a passion; something I love doing and something I want to keep doing consistently for as long as I live. Some of us may not have the luxury of living such a lifestyle, but if we truly want something, it’s a matter of how much we push ourselves to make it happen.
If you’ve been looking to go on a long trip(solo or with a partner), but haven’t been able to take the plunge because of all these little excuses you’ve been giving yourself, try being bold and do something impulsive if you must. Maybe book that flight you’ve been checking on skyscanner but never gone about actually doing it. Once that’s done, there is now another commitment you have to make. If something substantial such as a booked flight exists, you will find yourself working things around to make this trip happen. You’ll find yourself fore-going the more ‘important’ stuff and shifting tasks for this trip up in your to-do list. Unknowingly, you’ll be distracted yet excited at the thought of this impulsive choice you’ve just made. Maybe you’ll pinch yourself and try to snap back to reality, maybe you’ll wonder if this is all really happening. And then comes the part where you’ll probably have to face the consequence of giving up on other things that clashes with your rash decision, or having to explain to people that you’ve decided to leave for a while. But with all these new struggles you’ve now created for yourself, you’re also now making this happen where it’s possible.
Nobody can teach you how to travel. Only you can find it in yourself to discover what you love, what makes you positive to get up in the morning and what excites you to get from point A to point B. If you can somehow find that inner spark in you to drop your commitments and tell yourself that you can come back to it again someday; if you dare to thrive on the impulse of doing something completely crazy, if you’ve thought of just abandoning ship and doing what really tingles your balls, you’re ready to take the leap.