The other day I came across The Top 50 Cities to See in a Lifetime article on facebook. I rarely click on these links but this particular day curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t resist seeing how many I had already visited and how many more I needed to add to my bucket list, albeit a somewhat subjective list. After scrolling through the list I counted that I had visited 32 of the 50 cities. A reasonably credible number I thought. This made me reflect on how it happened in the seven years I have lived overseas (since only 3 of the 32 had been visited before my exodus from the motherland). How did I manage to fit so much in so little time while still working full time? What possessed me to explore these unknown lands? Where does my sense of adventure come from? Why is there a constant yearning for more discoveries and experiences?
After some contemplation I came to the conclusion that travelling is like a drug, addictive and providing escapism from the drudge of normal every day life but at the same time being a learning experience that no classroom can provide. I should preface this with the fact that I know I have an unfair advantage being a teacher with bountiful holidays (yes, yes, I know, too many holidays and not enough work – that discussion can be left for another time 😉 ). I also don’t have children, a mortgage or even a pet to worry about. For me I have chosen this lifestyle just as others have chosen to have children or any other lifestyle. I have friends who say they live vicariously through me and others who think I spend my life travelling. However, of course I live a very normal, sometimes boring life that is often dominated by work but why would I post anything about that on social media? Through the choices I make I am also not very financially responsible. Don’t get me wrong, I pay my bills and live comfortably but whatever is left I spend, mainly on travel and shoes (another addiction of mine 😉 ). I personally would much prefer to travel whenever I can and make the most of every situation rather than go on one holiday a year watching my money grow. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who do that, each to their own I say.
Anyway, back to travelling. Visiting a country near or far for the first time is exhilarating and sometimes a little scary but mind blowing at the same time. There is nothing like absorbing as much as possible about the culture, the people, the food, the history and even the language. I love the stories that develop from travelling. Things are bound to go a bit wobbly at some point but in hindsight these make for the best travel stories. Another passion of mine is photography, I love the challenge of trying to capture the vibe of a place, attempting to share my experience with anyone who sees the pictures.
Of course travelling is not static. It is not an experience that happens in a moment of time and is then over. The experiences you have while travelling change you as a person, open your mind to new experiences and how the world works, make you stronger and allow you to see things from different perspectives. I know this is all a bit cliché but for me it is completely true. Travelling to different places is a hobby that I am incredibly passionate about just as a stamp collector may be passionate about finding that rare stamp to complete a collection. For me I will do what I can to travel as much as I can to see this amazing world and continue to grow as a person. After travelling to over 40 countries to date I have not tired one bit of the thrill and anticipation that comes from setting out on a new adventure.
What about you? Why do you like to travel? How do you think travel has changed you? Let us know your thoughts in the ‘Leave a Comment’ link at the top of the page and let’s share our passion!
Stay tuned for the next post and until then…
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