I hear it again and again and again. “I wish I could do what you are doing”. “You are so lucky to be able to travel”. “You are so lucky to have seen so much of the world”. “You are so luck to have no commitments and so much freedom”.
So many people hear my story and tell me how lucky I am. I don’t really see it that way. Don't get me wrong, I am lucky in many ways, but being able to travel is not one of them.
The ability to travel the world is not luck or about wishing. It is about having the guts to do it. I am just like anyone else in the world. I am able to travel as much as I do because I CHOOSE to. It has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with having some balls, and just going. Anyone can buy a backpack and a plane ticket. That is all that you need!! Unless you have a criminal record, you are free to see the world. Any other limitations you set upon yourself. Everyone can get out of whatever “commitments” are holding them back. Partners will probably still be there when you get back, or they can come too. Rent your house out for a year, and have someone else pay the bills while you are gone. Quit your job…you probably don‘t love it anyway…. and why do something everyday if you don’t love it? Plus, you can always find another job. The new skills and experiences you gain while away will help you find an even better job. People always have an excuse, but they are just that - excuses.
Although I know people mean it as a compliment when they tell me how lucky I am to be able to travel, but it seems to accredit luck, rather than the choices I have made in my life. I do not come from a family of money who funds my trips around the world. I never travelled overseas as a child. I have yet to win the lottery. I have just made choices and sacrifices in my life that allow me to travel. Once upon a time I was just like everyone else. I had an education, a job, a serious relationship, bills, and expectations. So many people get sucked into that life just because it is what they are “supposed” to do. Instead of just going along with it, I veered off course and carved out my own way along a path not travelled. I am not “lucky” to have escaped. It took guts and willpower. It was not easy. It took balls. I left behind everything I knew and set off in search of anything I didn’t know. This was a conscious choice, not luck. Of course it is easier just to surrender yourself to the typical life of career, marriage and kids, but anything worth doing is not easy. Everything I have done and seen is more than worth everything I have given up. Sure I was scared and had no idea what the future would bring, but I left the world I knew anyway. And now my life has become all about travelling, passion and living my dreams everyday.
I think it’s mostly fear that holds people back from travelling the world. It is strange and different out there. You would have to get off that comfy couch with your perfectly sunken in butt grooves. You won’t have FOX and HBO at your finger tips. Bad things could happen to you far away from home. Let me tell you that strange and different are interesting and challenging. That comfy couch is killing you and that idiot box is killing your soul. Seeing and actually experiencing the world are FAR better than watching it on television. Bad things can and will happen to you at home. And when that something bad happens to you, would you rather know you have seen and experienced some amazing things, or that your ass print is permanently embedded in that couch? Break out of your slump, stand up to fear and go experience everything the world has to offer.
Material possessions are also a huge weight. People are so tied to their “things” that they cannot imagine not having “stuff“. I promise you won’t die if you only have 3 pairs of shoes, or 1 pair of jeans, or your purse is from 3 seasons ago. Most of the stuff you think you need is really just unnecessary luxury. Stuff is just stuff and in the long run it is nothing. Things go out of style, they break, they get lost or stolen and when you die you can’t take it with you. Memories, experiences and passion can never be taken away. Clean out everything unnecessary in your life and go experience something you have always dreamed of doing.
Most people think that it takes thousands and thousands of dollars to travel. I find my expenses out on the road are less than when I am at home. I spend hours searching for the cheapest plane tickets. I stay in clean but budget hostels. I eat only when I am actually hungry, and eat cheap, fresh, local foods. I am aware of every dollar I spend. Time is usually not an issue, so I will gladly take the $25 18 hour bus ride rather than the $300 2 hour flight. I work or volunteer for room and board while I am travelling. I avoid the tourist traps, and find out where the locals go, eat and shop. I am after the experience rather than the perfect souvenir. At home I think of everything I spend money on in terms of a plane ticket or as days in another country. I am able to travel for half the year, every year, as well as chip away at my student loan and I barely make 20 g’s a year. Sell your car, rent out your house for awhile, cut your closet in half and I can guarantee you can travel the world in style for 2 years. Maybe you will find your balls in your half empty closet.
I am not lucky, I just have big balls. You probably have big balls in you somewhere. Just buy a plane ticket to wherever you have always dreamed of going. And then go. It truly is that simple. You don’t have to be lucky, you just need to go.
“I’d rather have a memory than a dream” -Samanther
Join me as I TRAVEL MY LIFE AWAY…in just 5 days another adventure begins.
Up next, the reasons why I AM lucky.