Ever since I can remember, I always had a strong desire to travel the world. Europe was my dream destination. I would spend hours upon hours researching different places to visit there and which Contiki tour would suit me best. ( let’s face it, EVERYONE needs to do at least one Contiki in their lifetime). So, in 2010 at the age of 21 I quit my job and headed to Europe with my big sister for a 26 day Contiki tour (European Escapade) and then another month of travels on our own to visit family in the UK and Italy and to soak up the sun while sailing the Greek Islands. I was an extremely shy person, I had always been this way since I can remember. Travelling to the other side of the world was a big deal for me! I had also never even seen a hostel, let alone stayed in one before so needless to say, princess Kylie was horrified upon arriving to my first ever Hostel in London.
This first trip to Europe literally changed my life. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. It really ignited and solidified my passion for travel, it brought me out of my shell and took my out of my comfort zone so that I am no longer that shy girl I had always been, it let me see that there is a whole entire beautiful, crazy, outrages world out there just waiting for me to discover it. It also definetly took the ‘princess’ out of me (well…most of it anyway). That first Hostel in London that initially horrified me has turned out to be one of the nicest ones I have ever stayed in on my travels so far.
Since this first trip in 2010 I have found myself living and travelling Canada for two years, conquering my fear of boats and doing a 7 day cruise to Alaska, backpacking around beautiful Central America, fulfilling thousands of dreams whilst backpacking around the wondrous South America and now I have returned to and am living in the place that absolutely stole my heart- Whistler, BC in Canada. Every.Single.Day I sit and daydream about places I am going to visit next. I read countless travel blogs, follow fellow travellers on Instagram, research places I’ve never heard of on Wikkitravel and constantly check sky scanner for flights to my dream destinations. Travel is my obsession, my passion, my soul purpose.
As I sit here in my cosy little apartment, fire place blazing, looking at the beautiful white snow flakes falling fast outside, I just feel so happy, so content and so grateful. Quitting my job in 2010 to pursue my passion for travel was the best thing I EVER did.
So without further a do….here is my 10 reasons to travel NOW
1. There is never going to be a ‘right’ time.
I hear this SO often.. “Now just isn’t the right time”.
“I can’t afford it” “I can’t take time off work right now” “I’ve got too many bill’s to pay” “maybe when I’m older” “I need to settle down and buy a house, maybe when I’ve retired I’ll travel” blahhhh blahhhh blahhh. Guess what?! There never is going to be a ‘right’ time. Something is always going to come up. Wedding, birthdays, children, work, bills etc. etc. It’s always going to be happening in your life. But you know what? If you really want to travel just do it! Take that leap of faith and just DO IT. One thing I’ve learnt is, things always work out one way or another and most of the time it’s for the better.
2. You are not getting any younger.
Seriously let’s face it, you are not getting any younger. Time just seems to tick away so fast these days. Why wait to travel when you are now currently young, fit, healthy and physically able. Without sounding too morbid, who knows if you are going to get sick, get hit by a bus, have a heart attack or injure yourself. And this “settling down” business everyone in their mid twenties seems to talk about is just nonsense in my opinion. Who said you need to buy a house, get married and have babies at a certain age? Society? Status Quo? Don’t get me wrong there in nothing wrong in WANTING this to be your life. Some people love the idea of having a house, family etc. for their mid twenties, just as I love the idea of a life of travel for my mid twenties. My point is, don’t think you HAVE to ‘settle down’ just because that’s what society, status quo, friends, family say. Do it because you want to, because that’s what your heart desires, because that is your soul purpose. If you want to travel then seriously, there is no time like the present!
3. It’s invigorating.
If you travel with an open mind and an open heart it will fill you up and light your soul on fire. It’s refreshing, new, fun ,exciting, invigorating, scary, beautiful and will help make you a smarter, better, well-rounded person.
Andean mountains, Cusco- Peru.
4. It provides you with Education.
Seeing the world through your own eyes provides an Education that would simply be impossible to obtain in School. You will learn geography, culture, customs, traditions, languages, perspective, history, faith, wisdom, happiness, among other things and all first hand. All the things you will learn while travelling can not be taught to you by someone else, you have to experience it yourself.
5. You will develop long lasting relationships.
There’s just something about the people you meet on the road and the friendships you create. Firstly, you are all like minded people. You are all out to travel the world and make new friends and memories along the way. You are seeing and experiencing all these once in a life time, life changing experiences together such as climbing up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, walking around the Coleseum in Rome, hiking the Inca trail and finally getting that first view of Machu Pichu in Peru, sun baking on an island in Belize, jumping into crystal blue rock pools in Guatemala, riding horses through the Andean mountains in Argentina. These people who are enjoying these amazing experiences alongside you are the ones that will stick in your memories forever. You meet people from all over the world, people who give you a different and refreshing perspective on life outside of your hometown circle of friends. You can be whoever you want to be. Not only that, you know have a couch to sleep on in cities all over the world now. You’re welcome!
6. It will refresh your sense of adventure.
It’s very easy to stay nice and safe in our little bubble of comfort..but that’s not really living is it? Travelling puts you outside of your comfort zone every.single.day…well it does for me any way. Never did I think I could sit on a bus for 20 hrs winding through the Andean mountains, or fly over waves in a speed boat to an island in Belize, get in a 10 seater plane and fly over the Andeans to the Amazon Jungle, hang on for dear life in a taxi in Guatemala, hike for 4 days on the Inca trail in Peru, fly over white water rapids in Austria, fly through the air on a zip line in Canada, go hunting for Anacondas in the Amazon jungle. Travelling makes you do things you wouldn’t usually do when your at home. It gives you a false sense of courage as you think “well I’m only here once, I may as well do it”.
7. It will test your limits.
Part of the beauty of travelling is all the different cultures and languages you get to immerse yourself in along the way, but it can also make your journey a little stressful at times. Your bank cancels your card and you are trying to use a Bolivan calling card to call home but you don’t understand the Spanish voice recording on the phone telling you how to use it, you want to book a tour but the people at the tour desk don’t speak English so you just smile and nod and cross your fingers that you booked the right thing, you eat the delicious looking street food then end up having a date with your toilet bowl later when you need to catch a bus in a few hours, you seem to have endless hours to kill on the long bus rides ahead of you, you think you’re being smart by booking your hostel ahead of time online but when you get to the hostel the people at the front desk tell you they don’t have your reservation and they are full so you end up dragging your luggage all over town trying to find somewhere to stay, you get motion sick on everything that..well moves (like me) and 90% of travelling involves being on something that moves. All these things are annoying and stressful but all apart of your beautiful travel experience. After you have conquered all these hurdles you will feel stronger, better, smarter and have a big sense of achievement. Sounds pretty good right?
8. It will give you a brand new perspective.
One of the biggest things I take away from my travels is how even though some people can be less fortunate or live in poverty they still smile and look so grateful and carefree. It makes you open your eyes to different ways of living, different traditions, customs, cultures and walks of life. It makes you appreciate home, miss home, wish you could stay in that moment forever or just feel content. Forget what you’ve read, heard in the media and from another person about a place, seeing and experiencing things through your own eyes will give you a refreshing, healthy dose of reality.
9. You can learn a new language.
It feels pretty satisfying to be able to say please and thank you in French, yes and no in Indonesian, Good morning and Goodnight in Italian, order a beer in Spanish and hello and goodbye in German. Learning a new language is not only a new skill and accomplishment, it also helps you to be able to fully immerse yourself into another culture and connect with the locals.
10. It will make your dreams come true.
If you’ve dreamed about it, imagined it, envisioned it in your mind and wished for it, then you know what? Now really is the time to do it. Travelling has made thousands of my dreams come true such as learning a new language, hiking the inca trail, seeing Christ the redeemer, sailing the Greek Islands, eating pasta in Italy, seeing the Eiffel Tower, visiting Mayan ruins, snowboarding in Canada, conquering fears, making new friends, eating different foods and learning about new cultures. My list is endless. Your dreams are right there, waiting for you to turn them into a reality.