MAKING THE DECISION
THINKING ABOUT TRAVELLING?
Making the decision to travel will change your life forever. Deciding to take that leap of faith in yourself, set off and explore the world means deciding to be happy, live uniquely and find out who you really are.
I believe travel forever changed how I look at life and the world. It taught me ultimately to not give a fuck. Small problems or day to day dramas just don't hinder my positive outlook on life. I learned happiness isn't a destination that must be found, it's a way of being. It taught me the life skills I have today and makes every year different --- which is my dream. It taught me to live life for me and never be afraid of chasing after what I want. I'm honestly most content with all of my possessions on my back, being constantly on the move and looking for adventure.
Everyone deserves to be happy, fulfil their wildest dreams and be proud of who they are and the life they live. Travelling does exactly that, you are seen in all your glory, away from every label and stereotype that you've been born with.
You will be thrown into unfamiliar situations and have to constantly make different kinds of decisions on your own - this may seem scary - but you will soon discover it isn't. It lets you realise what you want from life and teaches you how to handle whatever the world throws at you. You will learn so much about yourself and become one with the world - all the while seeing your confidence in life grow each day by living in the complete, present moment.
If you find yourself unhappy or unsatisfied with where you are in life -- start imagining where you want to be TODAY. Follow my steps below and turn your thoughts and dreams into action and reality.
BE INSPIRED & BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
If you truly believe you deserve to be happy and live the life you have always dreamt of then the Universe will give it to you. Fill your thoughts with positivity and love yourself first. Never let negative or discouraging words of others affect you. Your life should consist of small goals that will eventually lead to your ultimate passion. You have the power to create anything you desire -- if your mind is surrounded with only your goals and the belief you can achieve them -- it will happen! Each day you must visualise where you want to be, get excited, set your intentions and work towards it.
This is when you put the work in. Write letters to yourself stating where you want to see yourself and write daily lists of how you're going to get there. Have these handwritten notes in places you will see it often -- this is the Law of Attraction. Research your destinations, save money, collect books and travel guides, make notes, collect pictures, save quotes and cut outs of all things travel. Be active and stay connected to your dream always. Book your flight. Your time should be consumed with getting ready for your trip to keep it alive in your mind and to stay focused.
As your travel date creeps closer it will become harder and scarier to leave. Your family, friends and loved ones will display their sadness of your upcoming departure and you will have never of felt so loved, valued and wanted. I promise it will be difficult boarding the plane to begin the next chapter of your life but once you're there, in a few days time, it will all be worth it.
Set off, explore, go with the flow and book as little as possible! By all means be prepared, but once you're there, just go with it and travel without a schedule. Make friends, live adventurously and create memories. Always remember, it doesn't matter if you're still settling into backpacking or already having the time of your life --- the best is yet to come.
WHATS HOLDING YOU BACK?
Our minds are powerful. Every thought that crosses your mind can have an effect on your life. Positive, self-respectful thoughts help us create our dreams and therefore live happily. Negative thoughts filled with fear and self-doubt create problems that don't exist.
Always remember, these make-believe worries are usually created by the unfair words and doubt of other people.
'YOU CAN'T DO IT'
It doesn't matter what you do in life, there will always be someone criticising your decisions, expressing how they would do things differently or say it simply can't be done. Never for one second believe them. Those words of doubt are only a reflection of themselves. YOU can do anything. Concentrate on making yourself happy rather than listening to unnecessary comments. I promise you, those exact same people will be wishing they had the courage to do what you're doing and will be the first to congratulate you on your achievements when they see you again.
You can't fail. Even attempting to carry out your dreams means you're succeeding. You can't fail yourself, it's not possible. By admitting or accepting you have failed at something means you are listening and caring about what other people think about you, not what you think of yourself. WHO CARES.
'YOU'RE RUNNING AWAY FROM YOUR PROBLEMS'
Again not possible. What better way to find a solution of what's going on around you at home than completely removing yourself from the situation, grow as a person, learn to value yourself and then make a decision. 9 times out of 10, once you're travelling you will realise it wasn't a problem to begin with.
Travelling is not dangerous. Living by routine and doing the exact same thing week after week, month after month is dangerous. There's nothing that can happen to you on your travels that can't happen in front of your house tomorrow. You may hear of the odd backpacking horror story, but you won't have heard of the thousands and thousands of spectacular ones. Always use the same common sense you would live by at home.
'YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT'
This is something I hear a lot. You can 100% afford it. Never give up on saving money and cutting costs during your daily life and then use money wisely while on the road. I promise it costs more to stay and live by pressured standards than it does to travel the world.
'WHAT ABOUT YOUR CAREER?'
If you haven't experienced other ways of living or 'found yourself' then how do you know what you should really be doing career-wise? Your life and career will all come together, there is already a plan written out for you so trust the Universe and just go out and explore. By working 5-6 days a week leaves us with 1 or 2 days we can truly spend time on doing things we enjoy, live life and answer to ourselves. This is not enough time to grow or be fulfilled.
If I can do it so can you -- there is absolutely nothing stopping you. Everyone should take an extended period of time out to explore, get out of their comfort zone and travel at least once in their lives. This is a time when you're truly living on your own terms and each day is different.
HOME WILL ALWAYS BE THERE
As I was getting ready to leave on my first big trip. My family told me 'Look after yourself, follow your dreams and remember home will always be here'. Those words have forever stayed with me --- at the time I was scared to leave, I was so young and desperately needed that encouragement but I slowly realised it was true. Home will always be there to go back to after your trip. And usually hardly anything will have changed since you left. It will be like time has stood still. So, there is never a reason to worry you're missing out on anything.
You don't ever have to feel home sick because family and friends are only ever a flight away. Home comforts and familiarity are just a day away. The moment when you're back home doing the things you did before you left (which will feel like a previous life) will only come too soon.
Be in the present moment and live for now -- don't long for the past or worry about the future. Home will always be there, tomorrow is never promised.
Nothing should be holding you back from travelling. The more places the better. I've met so many solo travellers that didn't let obstacles in their life ever question if they should go or not.
The following are some inspirational words from fearless female travellers I've met along the way.
'My name is Lin, I’m from South Korea and a student at University. My most recent trip brought me to Mexico for a start, then on to Cuba and countries in Central America such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Just before Panama, I decided to go to New Orleans, US for some random reason :).
It was almost 10 months of long term travel which was one of the most powerful life changing experiences of my life. To begin with, I met so many good people from different cultures along the way even though I could barely speak any English or Spanish. I met good friends and they encouraged me to not have any insecurities about my poor conversation skills and tried to understand what I was saying. Fortunately, I met my best friend who possesses insane bravery and a challenging mindset and always inspired me to get over myself.
We ended up road-tripping in Mexico and took a jungle trip to the outskirts nearby Honduras-Nicaragua’s border. It was the most scary but worthwhile challenges during my travels. We still contact each other and we know we are definitely going to meet again one day. I used to be afraid of everything and that’s why I started to travel. If there is something that makes me afraid then I have to prove myself ‘that was just nothing’ or at least I must try it.
Just before I started this trip, waiting for the day to take my flight to Mexico, I was suddenly very afraid that something might happen that would be unexpected. For example, booking accommodation, going to a doctor in the middle of nowhere, losing my personal belongings, how to go over the border by walking and even the thought of how I would make friends with my bad English because I didn’t want to hang around only with Koreans. However, everything was not that difficult or horrible as I thought would be. Through travelling, I learned a really important truth: if you face the situation you will be able to deal with it whether you can do something or not. This means you will become stronger or realise how brave you are. One thing I was really happy about travelling was that I have plenty of time to think about ‘myself’. Have I ever focused on myself deeply like that out of this stressed busy life? I had been ignoring what my heart wanted. I just simply couldn’t recognise it. Every day I had to make a decision only for myself, like what I was going to see or what I was going to do that day so that I could learn about what's deep inside of me. I would never have know this if I didn't go travelling.'
HAELIM RYU, SOUTH KOREA
'I simply think there is so many cool things to do around the world, so many opportunities and adventures waiting for us. I could not imagine my life without travelling.
The world does not stop calling.'
SARI SAVIRANTA, FINLAND
'I love traveling because it shows me who I am, what I can be and challenges me in who I want to be. There is so much breathtaking beauty out there, so much unknown to discover, so many unforgettable moments waiting to be absorbed by my soul.
Traveling really is living life to the fullest. No day is like the other. Travel is challenging as it is enjoyable and has taught me so much about the world and myself. And mostly, for those ten years out and about, it has shown me that those horrible negative news and headlines are not representing the majority of the planet we live on. So I believe traveling makes you a better person because it shows you that life is equally worthy and equally beautiful even though it’s so different from what we know. Traveling makes you a compassionate citizen that understands happiness is not in things, it’s within life itself.
When I travel, I usually go and live somewhere or travel around for several months at a time. A year in a van in Australia, building a butterfly farm in Spain, drinking wine in Tuscany, opening a café in Cambodia, guiding groups through the mountains of Tenerife, snorkelling the crystal clear waters of Cyprus, staying in a self-sustaining village in the deep north of Thailand to name a few destinations I’ve experienced.
You can live once or you can life every day!'
ANDREA ENDRES, SWEDAN