Who do you want to be? In travel, we find ourselves in a place in this world that’s different than we are used to; a world that puts us in a different state of mind than we are accustomed to. Happiness is a state of mind, after all. We’re thrust into situations we’re not always comfortable with and we are forced to adapt and live with them. It’s a very sink-or-float style of living on the road. Because of that, we find ourselves living a different life day in and day out. The feeling is exhilarating. And I can keep feeling it, if I want.
Every day when I wake up on the road is something new. I could wake up in a different bed, in a different state, in a different country, or even on the opposite side of the world under a bridge – maybe not even in a bed. What I do to entertain myself during the day is never routine. The thrill – the unknown – is how I believe we find happiness on the road.
Be What You Want to Be: I can change if I want
I used to lead a happy life; I had a very privileged life with a great family and friends who I enjoyed hanging out with most of the time. I had good grades and was set-up with contacts who could surely put me on a fast track towards success. I had just graduated with a fresh degree in Public Relations.
I had all of this, and yet, I didn’t feel truly fulfilled. And I knew where I was headed wasn’t ever going to fulfill what I wanted. But I didn’t know what I wanted.
That’s when I set out on a journey of exploration. As cliche as it sounds, I wanted to take time to find myself and up until that point, the only place I could ever let go of myself and clear all of my headspace had been on the road. I needed to lose myself for a while before I could find myself.
A Place in This World On the Road
Some of you who have been reading my blog are familiar with my story by now. I moved to Europe in January of 2017 and have been moving around across the world ever since.
My journey has taken me to Africa for months on end, to living on a tiny island no one has ever heard of, and a move to Asia to a place with a bad rep but wonderful people. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful and unexplored lands in the whole world and I’ve met people that will forever change my life.
Where the Road has Led Me
I’ve discovered a path in writing that I would have never even considered had I been on my fast track to success in the United States. I no longer consider myself financially focused, and, as irresponsible as that sounds, it also feels incredibly freeing. Through writing, I’ve found a path that can fulfill my greatest aspirations in life that I didn’t even know I had.
Through meeting new people who are completely different and, yet, totally inspirational in my own path, I’ve found true happiness like I’ve never known happy to feel like.
I’m gaining new knowledge on the important things I never had time for back home; the things that connect me to people I want in my life and of what I find close to my heart.
But most importantly, I’m learning every day how to respect myself and my desires. I’ve started living life with an “I can if I want” attitude. I’m learning how to live for myself while helping others and I’m making myself a better person. Traveling has allowed me to focus on what I truly want.
With a clear mind, open heart, and an itch to learn, I’ve become a person I never imagined I could be and I’ve found complete and utter happiness.
A Place In This World: Finding Happiness in Travel
What do we crave about travel? Is it the 5-star luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts? For most of us reading this, probably not. It’s the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a life unknown to us. On the road, we get to meet people and see things that were unplanned and even unknown to us when we woke up that morning.
As travelers – as young budget travelers in particular – we seek adventures that keep us on our edge. We don’t leave our hometowns looking for comfort in places we have never been. If we did, we would save travel for when we are 70-years old with retirement money. While we are young, we want the stories associated with traveling on a budget that you can’t even imagine telling until you’ve done it. You can’t get those stories sitting poolside being served margaritas at a resort.
There’s a certain lusting for mishaps and conflict that we don’t know we are in need of until everything starts feeling too easy. The times we are forced out of our comfort zone are the times that we grow on the road. We’re problem-solvers who are looking for something to throw us off course.
Why do we put ourselves through it?
At the time, traveling on a tight budget may be a pain in the ass and a burden on us; we may even consider returning home and waiting until we have enough money saved so traveling on an extreme budget doesn’t come with so much pressure. But when we get home, we find ourselves repeatedly telling our friends and family the story about the one time we were arrested abroad and spent an hour hanging out with police officers before they finally let us go, or the time we lost all of our belongings in the Dusseldorf train station because we forgot to lock our storage locker, or even the time in Malta when we were scammed out of a large sum of money from a landlord who didn’t exist and were left on the streets for weeks.
And those are the moments we remember. Those are the reasons why we keep putting ourselves through the hardships of travel and why we keep craving more.
Who Do You Want to Be? TroubleTests Us
Many times we are put in situations as tests of character. As perpetual travelers, these are trying times – especially when faced all alone. In the end, though, we figure out that nothing is too hard to overcome and most of the times it is a simple case of mind over matter.
The situations that break us down on the road are the ones we look back on forever, and in some twisted way, bring us happiness later on. Without us acknowledging it at the time, trouble becomes our pursuit of travel happiness, and figuring a way out of the trouble is our drug.
I love traveling and everything it has afforded me. What I don’t have in financial stability (that I missed out on from not following the conventional post-graduate route), I’ve made up with a newfound passion for life.
My pursuit of travel happiness has led me to unbelievable corners of Earth and connected me to people of all walks of life. I could not be more satisfied with where my decision to live an alternative lifestyle has taken me.
I will remember this; no matter if it’s just a stage in my life or a committed long-term lifestyle – I will remember it as being the time that my eyes truly opened for the first time in my life.
My pursuit of travel happiness has led me to a life of truly LIVING; that’s all I could ever ask for.
If you’re trying to find yourself through traveling, sometimes it helps to other like-minded people. Shoot me an email, send me a direct message, or give me a call anytime!