In recent months I have noticed the abundance of articles, stories and quotes on why you should travel. Whilst I think all of them are 100% true, I have to question why it’s so important for people to have a motive to travel? Do we now need a quote from a very important person or a picture of the Eiffel Tower with words saying ‘Just Go’ to justify why we want to see the world?
I won’t lie here, I too am inspired by travel stories and have my fair share of travel quotes stashed away, but the sole reason why I am standing (well sitting actually) in The Netherlands right now, is simply because it’s what I wanted to do. I took the risk that many people are afraid to do and booked that one-way ticket to Europe. Mind you, it did take several months of agonising over the ‘confirm booking’ button, afraid that my life would change dramatically if I purchased the ticket. But after clicking that button, I have found that it was the hardest part. Of course as one would expect, my life has changed in so many ways – I have a new address, new friends, I’ve had to accustom to a new language and re-learn how to ride a bike. Though as much as my life has changed, I’m also exactly the same person. I still drink a little too much wine on weekends, I still can’t tell a joke properly and I still look for my phone while I’m talking on it. I’m not saying I’m some sort of superhero because I bought a one-way ticket overseas, I’m just saying that it’s not all that difficult to do. And the only person I did it for, was me.
I could stand here and list a thousand reasons why you should travel. I could also rave on about how easy and how exciting it is, but then I would just sound like a condescending twit. I shouldn’t have to give people reasons to travel and you shouldn’t have listen to people telling you to travel. Travel is simply something you do for yourself. You don’t need to go overseas based on what your friends say, or feel you need to justify why you’re quitting your job to go backpacking for a year or two. You travel, just for you. Too many people are waiting for that one sign telling them it’s time to book that ticket. When the fact that you’re living and breathing is the only indication you will ever need.
All it takes is a few simple clicks and a few moments of bravery, trust me – buying the ticket is the hardest part. Much like the saying “I hated that work-out – said no one ever”, no-one has ever regretted travelling. You may have regrets during your travels, hell my Christmas trip to Vietnam was full of them. I got sick, the weather sucked, I should have stayed in Europe, blah blah. But I didn’t regret the trip. Not for a second. Sure, you may have to leave behind friends and family and maybe a cute boy, but you know what? They’ll be there when you get back. And if they aren’t, then maybe they weren’t supposed to stay in your life anyway. You can spend your whole life sitting in the safe zone, or you get up and see the world. It’s your choice – yours and only yours.
So if that girl’s Instagram pictures make you jealous, or you’re in awe of your friend who just hiked to Machu Picchu or you have a serious addiction to travel quotes, than book a bloody plane ticket. Don’t be the ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ person. Be the ‘I did it and I loved it’ human. It’s much more fun, I can assure you of that.