For some people, travel can be a weekend away to a new and exciting place. Yet for others, travel is purely visiting a country that is not your own. Claims abound that ‘backpacking’ is where the real travelling is to be done, whilst others are happy in the notion of a guided hotel tour or a 7 day trip on a cruise ship.
Many a grizzled veteran traveller will tout the potential clash of cultural experiences to be some of the more rewarding travel experiences, whilst much of the younger crowd on their first trip abroad will sing a merry tale of their socialising and drinking antics and all their new friends from around the world.
Is travelling a sign of maturity and the constant endeavour of humans to connect with the world around them, both emotionally and physically? Is it the innocent youth cracking the world like an oyster, surprising themselves with the pearl they find inside?
Travel means something different to everyone who experiences it, it’s layered like an onion (thanks for that one, Shrek) – and not everyone loves onions. I think that onions should be a staple for every meal!
For me, travelling and backpacking is a combination of every aspect in ‘normal’ life that I find myself looking forward to, except that when I’m travelling I get to experience those things every single day.
Things like meeting new friends and hanging out with old ones, more time to explore and think and be creative, and of course giving me the opportunity to see other cultures and other ways of life. It gives me perspective, and it means that I can be thankful every day for being born into a place where I get to make all of those choices for myself.
Also, the chance to read more great novels and drink more local beers from all around the world is a decidedly positive bonus, I won’t deny it.
Not everyone thinks of travel like I do, some people don’t like it. They don’t like leaving their comfort zone or this barrier that they’ve put up around themselves that is resistant to breaking the bubble of familiarity. And you know what, that’s okay. It’s their choice, and if they’re happy then I’m happy.
All I ask is that if you’re thinking of travelling but keep putting it off, don’t. If you’re thinking of doing something crazy like moving overseas for a few years to try something fun and different, but you delay doing it out of some fear of the unknown, then don’t. It’s your life, live it how you want to live it. Shut that little voice of betrayal that says you cannot do it because it’s new and unfamiliar and scary, because it’s wrong.