As a blog about moving and travelling overseas I guess I should start at the beginning; why make the move? People say that nothing in life is free and this applies to travel too. Travelling inevitably costs something. Whether you’re budget backpacking around Europe or taking a luxury cruise through the pacific, travelling takes up money and time. More than that, the longer the trip the bigger the plunge and the more of your life you have to uproot. A year long trip around the world involves packing up your house, selling anything you can’t put into storage and tying up a million loose ends (there are always more than you expect).
When faced with all of these costs it’s fair to ask the question, is it worth it? Maybe you’ve built a perfectly nice life around you but have a nagging desire to road trip across the USA. When economies around the world are struggling, should you be spending money on travelling that you could be investing in things like a house or stocks? How can you justify the expense?
The answer for me is unequivocally yes, it is worth it. While it’s perfectly fine not to drop everything to spend months sleeping in the back of a car on US highways (it’s not for everyone), if you have a dream of seeing something in this beautiful world that just won’t go away, it is going to be worth it. Always.
For me this answer is simple one because I’ve always wanted to travel. More than buying cars or owning expensive clothes, more than anything else I’ve always dreams about travelling the world. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that valued and encouraged travel. Surrounded by my mother’s beautiful tan boots from Venice and the jewellery she brought back from South Africa, it was just common sense that I would travel the world too. But I see now that not everyone is raised to value travel this way and these questions can hold people back from taking the bucket list trip they’ve always dreamed about. So here are my top three reasons for taking the plunge:
1. The world is a beautiful place
It’s obvious but true; the world is incredibly beautiful and that alone is a good reason to go see it. While things like TV and the internet have opened the world up, actually being there will always be more fulfilling than watching someone else do it. Your own personal memory of a place, whether it’s the colour of a sunset on an Indian highway, the songs of a West End play or the taste of cocktails in a tiny bar in New York, will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s often these small, silly details that make the strongest memories and TV can’t compete with that.
2. Different trips for different times
There are a million different ways to travel and any trip can be tailored to suit the stage of life you’re in. My first trip was backpacking through Europe with my best friend when I was 18. It was amazing. It was also hectic, scattered and full of dirty hostel beds. But it was the best thing I’d ever done and filled me with a sense of freedom I’d never known before. While that trip was focused on doing and seeing as much as humanly possible, later trips were focused on other things like learning a second language (that was the goal, I didn’t really make it) or taking time out to make big decisions (a good cure for a mid-twenties crisis). In short, not every trip has to be the same grungy backpacker experience. You could spend 6 months volunteering in an orphanage in India, rent an apartment in Italy and tour the countryside like a local or even take a cruise to Antarctica. I believe that travelling isn’t just for a certain age group, but for anyone with a sense of adventure and an interest in learning more about the world.
3. Scary can be good
The bigger the trip, the scarier it can seem. Maybe it’s travelling alone for the first time or maybe travelling with a partner for the first time (nothing like a big trip to test a relationship). Maybe it’s the thought of packing up a life you’ve spent so long building up. There are lots of reasons travelling can be intimidating. Personally, if I ever catch myself wondering if something is a too scary, that’s when I know I need to do it. Of course, I believe in travelling safely so a fear unstable, remote warzones is something you should heed. But I think it’s important to continually challenge yourself and maybe the fact that a trip pushes you out of your comfort zone is the very reason you should do it. Instead of the reason you shouldn’t.