Throughout the overwhelming number of travel blogs out there, how many times have we all heard the spiel, “I quit my job to travel indefinitely around the world”? Too many to count. That is truly great for those who have taken the plunge and realized that is the way they want to see the world. But the blogs of those who wrote these statements would haunt and tease me endlessly in that they convinced me I wasn’t living life the best I could when my biggest passion in the world is travel. I truly thought that I wasn’t doing my life any justice by sitting back in a 9-5 cubicle dwelling job. I couldn’t stop the battle inside my head and it led me to write the most depressing post I’ve ever written. (Remember that one? I’d hyperlink it for you to read but I have since deleted it because I hated how negative I came across). I kept comparing myself to others. I thought I had to make an ultimatum between work/home life, or travel.
For the past five years now I have always made travel a priority in my life. It’s not just something I enjoy doing, it’s who I am. It’s a part of me that I really don’t wish to sacrifice, and I almost had forgotten that. For the first time ever I had been second guessing myself, wondering if it was time to stop traveling, just because. I even took a hiatus from my dear blog! (As my Irish-living in-Latvia friend Linda pointed out the other day).
I refuse to give in to any judgment when I announce that I am jetting off on an adventure again. People do this because they actually think that there is a right way and a wrong way to live life: people should settle down and have a family, invest in a home, and do what everyone else is doing. Life really is what you make it, and I’m not going to stop doing what I truly love now, after all these years and after all these wonderful experiences I have gained and wish to continue gaining. This is my life. This is my money. There is a part of me that will always be independent, whether I am in a committed relationship, engaged, or married. That is how I was raised and it is a quality I value greatly. Traveling ignites a fire in me that feeds me more life, more inspiration, and more passion than anything else I know.
I have put so much thought into each of my trips it is immeasurable. I have put the research in. I know where I’m going. I have budgeted. I don’t need to hear any warnings about danger, cost, or unfamiliar culture. Trust me that I know what I’m doing at this point.
Finally, after months of being convinced I was trapped while comparing myself to others, I realized that what I’m doing now is what works best for me all along. In the grand scheme of things – what’s traveling once a year? Nothing. I go, travel my heart out, and come back. Then I return to my cubicle working away, daydreaming about my next adventure.
And that, is really how simple it all can be.
plan on will be visiting Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia this February. I’m done with the back and forth of “Should I?” “Could I?” “Will I?” When have I ever had such a difficult time making my travel plans set in stone? Well, I’m at a different place in my life now. I’m no longer a student simply wishing to make my summers off count. Now I am in a very committed relationship, trying to build a career, with many personal events haven taken place simultaneously, so that is probably where most of my reluctance had been stemming from.
Most of who I am is built off the experience of travel and the love I have for it. Closing the door on travel, even if it were temporary, would bear an adverse affect on me.
The people who know me best understand and accept that.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett