Travelling around the world for a year
When you tell people you are travelling around the world for a year, reactions range from a “bloody fantastic”, to a “wow, a year – no one actually does that” kind of stunned silence. I think, perhaps, it comes from where you are in your own life.
Generally, as you get into the conversation, you find the bloody fantastics, like me, have had some ‘life is too damn short’ wake up call. The realisation that sometimes tomorrow does not come after all. As one guy put it in India when we explained we realised possessions could come and go, but experiences have to go out and be found, “Wow you have enlightenment, no one ever gets that.” The point is if you want to travel the world, do it. Ask, instead, why would you wait? Yes, it takes some planning, you will most probably need to stop spending and start saving; read more about that here, but do it, start today. You will not regret it.
Take a sad song and make it better
My ‘enlightenment’ was the sudden death of my dad. I think I spent the first two years in shock before suddenly realising, my time too was passing. He was in his 60s; I was already in my 40s; life seemed to be closing in quickly. Worse still, focusing on my significant loss meant I was actively wasting the precious time I still had. At this point, I wasn’t thinking I needed to go travelling around the world. I just knew I needed to make significant changes to get my life going again.
I walked into work the next morning, quit my job and moved to London.
Travel around the world: you don’t need to accept everything that comes your way
Luckily, I quickly found a fantastic new job that I loved and had a pretty great lifestyle. But something was missing. Inside I could hear my dad telling me this was not it; I mustn’t settle because it was easy, because it was comfortable. There was something more out there. I couldn’t get out of my head the passion for travelling around the world I shared with my dad. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced I could go. Why stop at London?
Meanwhile, the stunned silence reactors generally can’t get it. Why would you give up everything to go travelling around the world? Assuming that giving up everything means you have nothing. But as I explained to another person, on the contrary, giving up everything opens up a whole new world of possibilities. You have nothing left to lose and the world quite literally at your feet. He paused in amazement,
“But life is about building a house and making it a home. That’s what they tell us”.
“Life has to be about more than a nice house, no?”
“I will study your thinking……this is new to me – I like it,” he said.
And don’t you know that it’s just you
Both camps generally then meet you with a “gosh you are brave”. Well, I wouldn’t use the word brave. After all, we are talking about travelling the world, and it’s fantastic! But maybe for the first time in my life, I feel more secure. In myself, in what I’m doing. No need to worry about being tied to society through your mortgage, your boss; you only have to deal with yourself (which is quite enough!) All of that stuff, will still be there when we get back. All of that can wait.
So yes, I guess travelling the world for a year is not for everyone, and I get that. And this journey is teaching me that more than ever. We recently visited the Long hair village Huangluo: the Red Yao minority People here had never left their tiny village in the rural Chinese mountains and for all their quirkiness, appeared perfectly happy right where they were.
But, if it is for you – do it, plan it, make it happen. Don’t wait. You will never look back!
Remember to leave a comment below. And then, Happy Travels.