Travel is key — Inspiration

“A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.”

-Lao-Tzu, The Way of Life

For the past twenty years of my life, I have strived to be an individual that pays close attention to every detail I come across, enriching my mind, body, and soul in each experience that I encounter. I enjoy living a lifestyle like that; critically thinking and making it a priority to pay close attention to who I am speaking to, and what is occurring in the world that we share.

I remember taking trips to third-world countries at a young age, the Philippines being the most striking. Flying above the shanti houses as we were descending on our flights always made me so curious to explore new places and educate myself about other’s cultures and ways of life. Growing up in Orange County, California, I didn’t want to be trapped in a “first world mentality”…. for sometimes, we tend to forget not everywhere in the world is as privileged as we are.

Ever since I turned 18 and I was legally allowed to travel solo, I made it my mission to live a simplistic lifestyle. I only spent my money on food and other few necessities. I have been attending university and working full-time…saving, saving saving! I believe it is so important to step out of your comfort zone and adventure throughout new places. You do not need to be wealthy to create such memorable and unforgettable experiences. For me, I work for a certain company until I acquire enough money to live off of for a while, then I am off to embark on my next destination.

Having a longing to travel has been an ongoing addiction ever since I set foot. As I gain new experiences and meet new people, I realize that older people tend to always tell me “This is the time to do it, do it while you’re young.” I have come across that phrase too often. I believe so many people get stuck in this mentality where they have to stay at the same job, in the same city, and since they’ve established a routine for themselves, they might as well just be comfortable and remain in that lifestyle. Sure, some people are content with that and that is perfectly fine. However, I’ve realized that there are so many people that are unhappy with their lives because they never got to do what they actually longed for. As we grow older, life places more responsibilities on our shoulders, but I have noticed that so many people, especially in the area that I grew up in, are influenced by society and are so money driven — causing them to live the life that they think will make them happy. One is never too young nor too old to go out and chase their dreams.

Photo by Chris Burkard

Life is so precious and so short. Matthew Karsten, an expert vagabond, believes that “patience is important.” He claims that “Nothing is impossible. If you are having trouble going somewhere or doing something, don’t give up. You just haven’t found the best solution or met the right person yet. Don’t listen to those who say it can’t be done. Perseverance pays off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told what I want isn’t possible, only to prove it wrong later when I don’t listen to the advice and try anyway.”

Many younger and older people assume that I am wealthy just because I travel, however I am the exact opposite. I have developed personal spending strategies that allow me to save most of my money and spend where I would rather — for plane tickets, food, and adventure. I want to inspire those to take that next step in their lives and do something that they have always wanted to do. Whether it be traveling, going on an adventure, or accomplishing something out of your comfort zone. It is so vital that we take care of our well-being as humans. Doing so will allow us to reach our full potential. Karsten also advises to “get out of your comfort zone.” He states, “Challenge yourself to try things that normally give you anxiety. The more you do this, the more that anxiety will fade away. Not a hiker? Go on more hikes. Have trouble talking to strangers? Talk to everyone. Scared of weird food? Eat the weirdest thing you can find. The reason this works so well while traveling is because everything is already so different, what’s one more new/uncomfortable experience?”

If you have any inspiring stories of those who fulfilled their dreams or overcame challenges to reach them…please feel free to share them here…

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

-Anonymous

References:

Best Travel Tips After 4 Years Traveling. (2013). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://expertvagabond.com/best-travel-tips/