Over the years many people have asked me how I managed to visit 25 countries before I turned 30. As travel was just part of my life plan it was a question I was never really sure how to answer, until now. The simple answer is that I did it because I wanted to.
When I was little I used to stare into the sky looking for planes, wondering where the people inside were going. At 19 my mom took me overseas for the first time. We arrived in Paris, travelled through the fantastic labyrinth of trains in the Metro, stepped out onto bustling St. Michelle and I knew that I was hooked. The people looked different, the buildings were beautiful, the food was fantastically strange and the new pulse of life gave me a feeling I’ve been chasing ever since. I love the thrill of laying my eyes on something I’ve never seen before, eating food I’ve never tasted before, and meeting people I’ve never known before. Yes, it’s unnerving and at times uncomfortable to leave home, but it’s always worth it. To me my twenties could be spent no other way than seeing as much of the world as possible.
There are trade offs to every decision though, and there were a great number of years when I would long for a sock drawer. Digging through a dirty old back pack for that last pair of clean socks can wear you down on a down day. The simplicity of staying put would become incredibly enticing and the urge to pack it up and go ‘home’ would appear. But life is full of urges, as the inevitable ebb and flow of life pulls us along. It is the choices and the sacrifices we make to build the lives we want that really define us.
When people ask how I travelled so much, I tell them they too can get on a plane and go; it’s nothing more than a decision to make it happen. Airlines don’t discriminate as long as you can pay, and even the most modest budget can find a small allowance for a travel fund. If it takes you ten years to save up for that trip I say start NOW. Saving $50 a month will add up to $1,800 in 3 years. This will get you anywhere on earth you want to go and pay for at least some of your hotel too. You can stay in $20 shacks on the beach in Thailand and have just as much fun as the folks in the $200 a night resort, I promise you that. Or, save up for one more year then blow it out at the Ritz…it’s up to you.
To me, the bucket list includes a stay at one of the world’s most luxurious hotels….Le Moana Bora Bora. It remains out of my current travel budget but I know that with a little sacrifice, and a few years of squirreling away dollars I would have otherwise spent on coffees and going out to movies, this dream will become reality.
So ask yourself where you really want to go, figure out what you’ll need to do to make it happen, then do it. At the end of your days you’ll have a much better time remembering the things you did do than the things you didn’t.
https://www.facebook.com/DartmouthTravel?ref=hl -Call Faith at Dartmouth Travel – she’ll save you time and money!