How I started traveling & the life lessons I learned
I was twenty years old and depressed. Especially if I’d been on social media for too long - my feelings of emptiness were magnified. I looked at my peers on Facebook or Instagram posting pictures having what seemed to be the time of their lives. They were exploring beautiful places around the globe it genuinely looked amazing. I hated that I felt so jealous. It seemed as if everyone around me was picking up their lives and taking off. It didn’t matter which direction they were headed at least they had one. It was becoming much more common to not just find a career, but to find your “purpose”.
The millennials are all about following their passions! Heck I'm one of them, but at that point in time I wasn’t sure what my direction was... I mean sure, I was interested in fitness, fashion and beauty, but what chick wasn’t! 😕
One night on Facebook I was creeping on this girl I knew, she had just spent a year abroad in Australia on a working visa. I’d been thinking about going too. I had a little bit of money to do it and nothing was really holding me back. I had a job I could quit on good terms that would possibly take me back when I returned home, but I feared failure. What if I couldn’t make it? What if no place would hire me? What if I didn’t like it? These were all valid things to consider when I thought about all the wrong things that could happen.
If it didn’t work out I could always come home right ?
So right then and there I booked a one-way ticket to Sydney and off I went. Little did I know that ticket to Sydney was the best purchase I ever made towards my own pursuit of happiness.
I spent 16 months abroad and when I returned home I felt like nothing here had changed. I had seen the world, tried so many new things and pushed all my boundaries emotionally and spiritually. The only thing that had changed was me. I look at all the possessions in my house that I had once desired and now I only saw “stuff’. The materialistic things that I collected brought nothing to my soul anymore. I knew then the only way I’d continue to live a fulfilling life for myself was to continue filling my future with memories and experiences that would help me grow. I was home for 2 weeks before I started planning my Europe trip for the upcoming summer. I also booked a flight to Hawaii a month after I’d been home just to get away and be by the ocean again.
I turned 21 a month into being on my own in Sydney. I was living in a hostel at the time looking for a place to rent. I found a job right away and spent my days at the beach. I was truly happy there and that's how I came to know...
It doesn’t take a lot to be happy if your where you want to be
It is naïve to think that there isn't a different way to live outside of our comfortable bubbles at home. I’ve only scratched the surface in my travels and already I have tasted so many different perspectives on life. This has brought me to a better understanding of living life with a grateful heart. All the money in the world means nothing, if I'm not where I want to be.
I became secure with being alone
Working and living in a new city where I knew absolutely no one forced me to put myself out there and make friends. It’s so much different being on your own than it is with a travel companion. You are your own best friend and there’s no one to depend on. There were multiple times I was lonely and that's okay - I became comfortable with it.
Being outside of my comfort zone has brought me down to earth
Australia in my opinion is a relatively easy place to get started by yourself, it's an english speaking country, first world and safe. It was when I went to South East Asia on a tight budget that I started to feel “the culture shock” that some travellers talk about experiencing when they visit new places. I remember the first hostel that my friends and I checked into, I had a mini-diva-attack. I looked at my American friend and said “Oh my gosh, I don’t think I can stay here.” She blankly stared at me and responded “well you better get used to it because this is what all of South East Asia is like.” Needless to say, I became a pro at squatting over holes in the ground called toilets and crossing the street when there was a two second gap in traffic. There were times I didn't have a lot of money and I had to slum it. I lost stuff often and made mistakes, but some how everything always turned out okay. That's when I started to believe..
Everything will always sort itself out
Because it seriously does. In some wonky way the universe always, no matter what, finds a way to sort itself out. Bad stuff happens and that's a part of life. I found that things could be tough for a little while however, it never lasts forever. I could be broke some days but money always comes back around, however opportunities don't.
Saving money takes many sacrifices
When I came back to Australia after two months in Asia I had 300$ to my name, I needed a job badly. Luckily I found one quickly but I didn’t start earning enough to save for at least a few weeks. In this time, I had to understand what it was REALLY like to budget, and I did. I became so good with my money I realized how easy it was too save once you cut all the bullshit out of the way.
Everyone is connected when they’re traveling
I stayed in so many different hostels and met so many different people, sharing experiences together that undoubtedly changed each of our lives. This is when it came clear to me…We are all in the same boat, out in the world away from home trying new things and no one knows who you were last week. Everyone is friends and welcoming and no one is above anyone else. This is such a beautiful thing when you travel. Status is such an irrelevant term - it's a breath of fresh air.
I can be whoever I want to be
Traveling is a new start to do whatever or be whoever you want to be
There’s something empowering about having the chance to start fresh. Nothing is too crazy or strange when you’re traveling and no one is judging you either. No one cares where you went to collage or how expensive your watch is... This leads me to my last and final lesson I’ll share with you
Seeing the world makes one brave
I’m confident in my abilities and what the world is. I’ve tried things that could’ve killed me, but they didn’t. As cliché as it sounds I’m stronger because of it. In all honesty, nothing scares me anymore. I’ve been on my own so many times in foreign countries trying to make my way. It’s hard to think of something I couldn’t do now if I needed to, andthat is a feeling money can’t buy, only traveling for yourself can.
If you enjoyed this post you likely may enjoy a few others I have bouncing around 😉 Here are two...
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