Friday, 23 August 2013

Travel: Why do it?

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Why go off and travel the world, meet new people, see new things?...Sounds pretty obvious doesn't it? But you'd actually be pleasantly surprised how many people's response to 'I'm going backpacking' is met with 'what's made you do that then?' So I got thinking, why am I going travelling? What's made me decide to do the biggest thing so far in my life?

1. Broaden your horizons - there is SO much out there to explore and so many different ways of thinking about things. Living in one place, surrounded by the same people day in day out can leave us narrow minded and set in our ways. 

2. Friends - in two senses. I'm going away with my three best friends and that in itself is incredible. I am so excited to have this adventure with them and I definitely wouldn't want to be doing this with anybody else. Also, travelling will allow us to make more friends from different backgrounds, with different lifestyles.

3. Get cultured - see how other societies behave and live and experience other ways of life. To read about different cultures is just not the same as seeing it with your own eyes. I've seen the slums of Rio, the poverty in Kenya but I've also seen the high life in Dubai and the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. It's good to have some diversity!

4. Independence - I've lived a very sheltered life, I will freely admit that. I've never had to want for anything and I've been lucky that with enough hard work I've achieved the things I have wanted to. I'm lucky enough to already be very well travelled but, this time, I'm doing it properly; parent free with only my rucksack. I can't wait to branch out of my comfort zone and do what I want, when I want every single day.

5. Don't hate, appreciate - Travelling does two things - it gives you chance to reassess your normal life and it makes you realise what you have. By going away from normal life and living as a backpackers, you will appreciate the little things and you'll know what you things you want to change.  

6. The real you -  I guess this ties in with number 5 but travelling, meeting new people, different cultures and the experiences you will face will lead to a kind of 'self discovery'. This might so like a bold thing but I know of people that have travelled for 6 months+ and questioned who they are, what they want and learned things about themselves they didn't even know. I'll be faced with decisions, things not always going to plan and other traveller problems but that's the fun of it all - self confidence a-go-go

7. FUN -  Obviously, it's going to be fun. Lots of partying, no full time work and being surrounded by friends. Life will be a constant party!

8. Live while you're young - Makes sense? Commitment free, healthy enough to go out there and enjoy life to the full and plenty of time ahead of you for a 'proper' job.

9. The stories - This is probably one of the biggies for me; who wants their story to be 'I spent 16 years in education and 40+ years working' not many people. It's okay if you do, but I'm not one of those people. I want to have been there, done that and bought the tshirt. I want hundreds of pictures to show the places I've been. I want those memories with my close friends. And most of all, I want to just enjoy myself. I don't want to be a 'what if...' person!

And the main reason for me...

10. THE FOOD - You all know by now if you regularly read my blog; I'm into food in a BIG way. England is great for food - we have everything, especially if you live in a city. I want to try the real authentic foods of Asia - not the number 8 on the Chinese Chippy specials menu. I want to have the street food, smell the spices and experience proper local food. I'm hoping to do a cookery class in Cambodia and/or Vietnam too! 

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