There are many things we say we want to do, but we never actually follow through. We’ve all been there.
About a year ago I talked to my friend about traveling abroad. We talked about how we are at a perfect place in our lives to do so. No, we’re not rich. But we’re young, full of life and adventure. So why the hell not? So we started planning.
I got back from our trip to Australia a couple of weeks ago. It may be clique to say, but traveling really does change you. It taught me many things, but I think one of the most important lessons I learned was to let go.
It also opened my eyes to all the beautiful people and places there are in the world.
It is easy to stay inside our comfortable bubble. But when we break away from that, when we step outside of our comfort-zones, when we do things that stretch us, that’s when we grow.
I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. Many people that I met in the hostels had been traveling for months, even years. All of their belongings were stuffed into a worn-out backpack. A lot of these people hadn’t seen their families in months, some years. They each had a different story of why they were traveling and what they hoped to accomplish.
We all come from different walks of life, and it’s so interesting to hear where people’s journeys take them.
One thing that struck me was how happy these people were. They didn’t have a lot of money, and no they didn’t have a lot of responsibility, but damn they were smiling.
Our culture places such an emphasis on material things. This pressure grips us, and the grip doesn’t seem to loosen until we’re older and hopefully wiser. But we miss out on precious time when that happens.
Through my travels I have realized what I want for my life and what I want to focus my energy and time on.
I want to fill my life with unforgettable experiences. I want to laugh so much I get wrinkles around my eyes. I want to travel and meet more interesting people and listen to their stories about life. I want to spend my time truly living. I can tell you now that money won’t be the focus of my life. It’s a necessity, but I refuse to become caught in the clutches of its merciless grasp. I don’t want to wake up one day with grey hair and frail bones and realize I missed it. I missed the chance to experience life as it was meant to be experienced.
I went on this trip with a tight budget. But I was still able to enjoy myself. And I was happy because I was truly living every moment I was awake; whether that was by seeing a beautiful Australian beach, swimming through a waterfall in a thunderstorm, or sharing a laugh with a stranger, or getting hopelessly lost.
Everywhere I have traveled to so far, I have realized that humans really are so similar while being so vastly different. We all crave love, friendship, kindness affection and happiness.
Even though the different cultures, backgrounds, skin colors, accents, personalities and time-zones, we are all united by the simple fact that we’re all living this life together. When we stop and enjoy the beauty around us, when we do things that challenge us and make us grow, that’s what truly living looks like.