To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted. – Bill BrysonI’ve been a traveler my entire life. From moving house to exploring outback South Australia with my family on camping trips, I took any opportunity to familiarise myself with my homeland while embracing change. But I was seriously bit by the travel bug in 2010 after my first overseas adventure. Dinner in Fiji and a week in Hawaii and Las Vegas, business class upgrades, limo transfers and five-star hotels were on the menu - I was incredibly fortunate to have been able to tag along on a family holiday with my best friend at the time. A love affair with Hawaii began the day I stepped off that plane and into island air. There was no going back, this was the start of something big. I could feel it. To this day, I spend my time away from the islands missing it, pining for it, and it is that exact feeling that I search for in every place I find myself the world over. Travel is the dream: it’s a philosophy, a way of life, a reason for living, fulfilling, wholesome, addictive. I read once, if you have the opportunity you should travel as soon as you can. Alone and wisely. It teaches you things about yourself that you may never learn otherwise. I’ve been traveling North America for eight months now, and it’s hard to put into words exactly what this experience has done to me, just how much I’ve grown and how beautifully empowering it has been to travel alone. There is no better feeling than stepping off a plane, train or bus without an idea of where to go, knowing no one and having to rely solely on my own sense of adventure to steer me in the right direction. From figuring out the cheapest way to get from A to B, the real difference between need and want and how to live like and blend in as a local, I’ve learned new things everyday. But the real lessons are found within. Travel feeds the soul, it connects you with people from different cultures, it opens your mind and your heart to the beauty of the earth and all our differences. And the more you explore the more you realize just how big and precisely how small this world truly is, how alike and how connected we really are to everything and everyone living and breathing on this miraculous planet. And at the end of the day, it’s only when we start to work together that this world can become a better place.
‘Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.’ – Terry PratchettSo leave, go, see new things. See old things with new eyes. Just see. Find a place, sit and watch it all go by. Talk to people, hear their stories, feel the ground with your bare feet. Feel the air on your skin, feel everything around you. Sing on mountain tops and say a big, wholehearted yes to it all. Get out on the water, get into the forest, find yourself in nature, wake up for the sunrise, take photos, make memories, become your own best friend. Begin to know yourself. Spread joy and love and kindness. Wake, live, dream, repeat.
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