15 March 2018

The Art of Travelling: What Does It Mean To 'Go Travelling'?

If you would have asked me this time last year what I thought it meant to ‘travel’, I’d have told you something along the lines of shoestring budgets, round-the-world tickets and no commitments. Because that’s what you're always told. When you hear about people who go travelling, it seems like they are all quitting their jobs or taking sabbaticals and departing on year-long getaways around the globe with no return ticket. So, go figure that the first thing you think of when someone mentions ‘travelling,’ is just that.

But, is that what it really means to go travelling? And if so, why?

I returned from my ‘once in a lifetime’ trip back in August. If you frequent over here on my blog, then you’re probably tired of hearing all about my post-travelling struggles, so I’ll keep it short. Boo hoo, me, real life sucks! When you dream about something for so long, you’re always going to have difficulty letting go once it's over. Which I undoubtedly have.

And, up until just recently, it's been the same old sorry story. Little me, bitterly cold, walking to my 9-5 in the dark pre-8am wondering why the hell I am not still in Thailand. To which one morning mid-January, I had a eureka moment where it seemed like my entire centre of gravity switched. Just like that. All the pieces suddenly fit together again.

I thought “well why, what’s stopping me from continuing to travel?”

The fact I have a full-time job, that’s what I guess, but why does having commitments mean I have to stop doing the things I love.

There’s this, stigma? Can you call it that? For lack of a better word, a stigma whereby travelling means to be spending month after month in a new country, exploring the world with no worries, your entire life in a backpack.

But, the art of travelling (and the definition ‘to travel’ as a whole) is so, so much more than that once in a lifetime experience. In fact, there’s a part of me that thinks that because travelling has such a big, dream-like stereotype attached to it, it makes it unattainable for the average person. For the person who has one thing that is tieing them down to the 'everyday' life, like a 9-5, their education or a family.

Travelling full-time is fantastic, and for those of you who can, you absolutely should. But it can be done alongside commitments that are tying you down too. Travelling can and should work for everyone.

That’s what is so special about it. Everyone can and does do it differently. No experience is ever the same and there's no right or wrong way to do it. If quitting your job, or taking time off to disappear to South America is feasible, then fab, do it. But if you're constricted to your annual work leave, then you can make that work too. Even with 21days holiday or a small child.

So I've decided this year I want to visit just as many new countries as I did the year before. I guess, this year I can't be as flexible as to where I go. A weekend trip to Peru really isn't going to work but 36 Hours Lost somewhere in Europe absolutely will.

That's the art of travelling, you've just got to make it work for you, whatever your circumstances or commitments. Any trip can be an adventure.

Love always,

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