When I was 18, I took my first big trip. I came home from work and told my parents that I was going camping. "Cool". They thought I was going to a cabin for the weekend.
"I'm going to Zimbabwe". They thought I was crazy.
Nothing will ever replace the feelings I had on that trip. I got to really soak in how some people lived their life. I went from someone who already though they knew everything to only knowing one thing: Life is meant to be experienced.
I needed to learn about people, feel lost in a language, figure out how to connect, immerse myself in other cultures, sleep on planes and wake up in foreign cities.
It was that moment where I set my first life goal: visit 30 countries before I turned 30.
I worked throughout Canada and the Caribbean for 6 years but each year, I made it my mission to take 1 big personal trip. I road tripped through from Mexico to Panama, bush camped in Southern Africa, sailed through Greek Islands, drove through SE Asia, chased kangaroos in Australia and did yoga in Bali.
I was 24 years old and passed my goal of 30 countries, but I didn't want to stop. You see, the thing is..I used to think it was the actual travelling that made me crave more and more. You meet new people that you connect with so quickly and deeply, you see these incredible places, you eat delicious food, you fall in love.. and nothing ever matters, except that present moment that you are experiencing. It's bliss.
It really didn't hit me until this year. It's the first year in my life that I haven't done ANY travelling. New city, new job - full on new life. It all started to make sense: it wasn't the travel that kept me going - it's the fact that I really don't care to be here. It's when both the coming AND being home really sinks in..
"I gotta get out of here"
When you start to travel, you really develop your sense of self. You're forced to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and make it work. When you start to travel, you change. You see the world in a new light. You've changed your way of thinking, you've opened your soul to life.
Maybe you're reading this and you have no f*cking idea what I'm rambling on about - but there's a good chance some of you wanderers know exactly what I'm feeling right now.
Why is it that when you try to explain this feeling to people - no one gets it unless you've travelled?
I came across a quote and it sums up my feelings so perfectly.
This is why once you’ve traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug, but really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn, then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown then you did in the most foreign place you visited.
"This is the hardest part about travelling, and it's the very reason why we all run away again."