Best Reasons To Travel

I’m sitting in my kitchen after a monotonous 10 hour shift at work and just realized I still have quite the to-do list before putting my house on the market just 1 week from today. It’s crazy to think I’ve amassed so much STUFF in the past 15 years, not to mention a $200,000 house, a “secure” job, and numerous other “American Dream” items. The problem? NONE of it means that much to me anymore. I feel like a robot stuck in ground hog’s day. I need change in my life. Excitement. New sights, sounds, scenery, and adventures. I yearn to look out over the horizon, not recognizing a single thing, and be so scared yet excited that I can only laugh and think to myself, “What am I DOING here?!”

Some say that people travel to escape life. Personally? I think people travel so life doesn’t escape them. Time is the most scarce resource we have. It waits for no one and you only get one go at it. The day we’re born, we start dying. I prefer to live.

At work, I find myself daydreaming more and more about the places I wanna visit, things I wanna see, and cultures I want to interact with. As my departure gets closer and closer, I become more excited, scared, anxious, and eager for the vast changes I’m about to encounter. Some people dread 14 hour flights, 12 hour train rides, and being surrounded by people that they don’t know. For me? All of that excites me. I NEED change in my life. Some of you have asked me repeatedly, “what brought this on?” and “what made you decide to literally get rid of EVERYTHING you own so you can travel?” Well to be quite honest, a major turning point was revealed to me when a 3 year relationship went sour. (imagine that – one door closing led to the opening of another… more on this another time) The next turning point was the friendships that came shortly thereafter when I was licking my wounds and somewhat feeling sorry for myself after this rather-sudden end to what I thought was gonna last forever. I tapped into the things I hadn’t done in years. I learned to look at life again with a renewed excitement for the unknown. I began to play drums again (with a TON of great percussionists) several times a week. I’ve been a musician since I was in the fourth grade. I did theater for 12 years. I taught both high school and college drum lines. I received a music scholarship when I graduated high school. I’ve always been a creative person. I forgot how good it felt to “create” music on-the-fly while connecting with other drummers and simply feeling the vibe. My earth tribe friends really jump-started my healing process. For that, I will always be in their debt.

Back to the now. icon smile Best Reasons To Travel I still have rooms with furniture in them, electronics here and there, a car in the garage, and a few dirty dishes in the sink. The house is virtually empty now compared to what it was just 2 months ago, but there’s still a lot to do and a lot to get rid of. I never thought it would take so much effort to get rid of things. I certainly fell into the consumeristic trap of thinking that the things I owned were who I was as a person. The more things I had, the more successful it must mean I am. WRONG. This was my ego that had ballooned to epic proportions over years and years of focusing on the wrong things. Oh well. Live and learn. I intend to change things going forward and have already made drastic changes since stumbling upon this realization.

Once I realized that my life was in the midst of a MAJOR transition phase, I began to write down different things I wanted to do and reasons for them. One of the main items near the top of my list was to travel. There are 195 official countries on this earth and I’ve hardly stepped outside of the USA. I started to think of specific reasons why I wanted to travel. Here are a few of them:

  • Because it’s simply awesome that’s why – the experiences (both good and bad) have a knack for making you feel alive again and part of this wonderful world. If you’re growing tired of the routine you’re “stuck” in, then come up with a plan, write it down, stick it on your vision board, figure out a few details, and GO.
  • You’ll grow as a person – if you think you know who you are at this very moment, brace yourself for change. Especially if you travel for a long time. Even more-so if you travel alone. (even though people may travel alone, you’re never really alone because you’re constantly surrounded by people) You’ll see the world, experience different cultures and meet tons of new people. You’ll probably learn more about yourself while traveling than you’ve learned otherwise up until that point in your life. AND your expectations and goals in life may just change completely.
  • Realize that you don’t need so much to survive – I had a 3,000 sq foot house FILLED with “stuff.” When I leave, I will have a 3000 cu in backpack and that’s it. (which I can live out of for several months at a time) Besides a backpack with some clothes and a few other things like a laptop, camera, and perhaps a cellphone, all you need is a little money to get you started so you can hop on a plane, train, boat, bus, or car. Once you’re on the road, you can find work to help support your travels. There are always random odd-jobs. You can always start your own small business before you leave and simply continue to run the business while on the road. My main source of alternate income is my graphic design business. Another alternate source is my travel blog. With some dedication and a few hours a day, someone will grow and begin to provide more options for additional travels.
  • Learn to deal with loneliness - When traveling (especially alone) there will be times when you may feel lonely or get home sick. You’ll become a better person if you learn how to handle those emotions in a positive way and grow from them instead of letting it eat away at you. Meditation, yoga, and writing have helped me A LOT. Seeking answers outside of yourself leads to a constant search of external things to fill the void. When you turn inside – which is actually where all the answers are anyways – the answers come to you, AND, you didn’t seek outside sources. In other words, you become responsible for yourself. You stop playing the victim and learn to control your thoughts. Control your thoughts, or they will control you. Just ask any great horror film director. The scariest moments are when things are vague, quiet, and left up to the viewer to imagine what MIGHT happen.
  • Learn to deal with boredom - Boredom is something that will inevitably rear its ugly head when you’re out and about. However, it’s up to you to decide how that boredom will affect you.

There’s just a few reasons I’ve decided why I want to travel. We all have our own reasons. Some are brought on by positive change – perhaps a promotion at work with more vacation time, maybe a new job in a new city that will allow you some downtime to discover new surroundings and get acquainted with your new area. Some by negative changes – a breakup, divorce, loss of a loved one, etc. Regardless, make the outcome positive. Happiness is more of an attitude and a conscious choice as opposed to a response from something outside of you. If your emotions are always a response to something outside of your control, then you become a victim and that’s not a good way to live life. For those of you seeking a little pick-me-up, I have just the article for you to read (click here).

Be well. And namaste.

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