I had put it off for so long, I had wanted to go traveling from the age of 18. Somehow other things got in the way, college, university, work, overdrafts and debts. So I thought I’d write down all my reasons for going backpacking, hopefully it will prove useful to others.
After four years in the rat race working to exist I’d had enough. I booked a set of one way tickets and left to go round the world.
One thing I remember a good friend of mine saying before I left was “Mate, I’m so jealous of you going away.”.
At first this puzzled me because he was well capable of doing the same, I asked “Why? Why don’t you just go yourself?”.
His response was pretty honest and one that I didn’t completely understand, he said “I can’t mate, I ain’t got the bottle”. Meaning he hadn’t got the guts to go through with it.
The cycle of life had him trapped.
He would wake up, go to work, dream of the weekend, spend money on the weekend, then go back to work and back round the cycle again.
I too was in this cycle for four years, four very quick years. As I would work all day, go to the gym, cook some dinner, an hour of TV, then off to bed to repeat the ground hog day again and again.
Living like this meant four years felt like one and my youth was slipping away in the blink of an eye.
I hadn’t been traveling long term before and I always wanted to but I never had the money to be able to do it. I sorted out my finances and booked one way flight to Beijing. From then on my outlook on life would never be the same.
Here are five reason why you should step out of your comfort zone and go traveling:
1. What’s A Year?
One year out of say 40 years of work isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things. You’ll find on your return things will be pretty much the same. I often think that it’d be good to be at home in familiar surroundings but I remind myself that if I was there, I’d be pretty much sick of it after a week.
2. Same Repeated Cycle
Do you feel the need to do something different? Are you sick of the same people doing the same things, going to the same old places day in day out, nothing ever seems to change. Going traveling is a great way to spend your time seeing amazing sights and doing great things that are a far cry from the mundane humdrum life at home.
3. Do It Now, While You Can
While many people of different ages go traveling, many find it more difficult to travel on a budget as they get older. Living in hostels and budget accommodation can become less than appealing when you’re a little older. This isn’t true of everyone but for me I knew that at 26/27 I could still rough it a little.
If you are in a position of flexibility you are at a great advantage. Go traveling now before you are engaged, married, have a house and all the other major commitments of life. It is much easier to just get up and go in this situation and it’s often taken for granted when you have it.
4. It’s Not Scary
The fear of the unknown often makes people very scared of travel. In reality once you get to the place you’re scared of everything is fine. For some people it’s difficult to step out of their comfort zone, for others it is much easier. The best way to combat the fear is with action, I recommend booking some flights at the earliest possible moment so that you are committed to going away.
5. Live Life
By going traveling you actually live life and experience some amazing things. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted some stories to tell for when I reach a ripe old age and the only ones I’d have would have been about sitting in front of a computer screen every day.
Often the fear of the unknown and stepping out of the comfort zone stops people from ever traveling for the long term.
Like my friend I mentioned at the beginning of the article, it’s a real shame because these people are capable of it and would have the most amazing time of their lives traveling the world.