9 Reasons Why You Must Travel While You Can
Updated 2016: This post was originally published in April 2014, and we are now over a year into our Australia journey. You can read more about our recent adventures here.
If you asked me a couple years ago, what my biggest phobia was, I'd probably have said spiders. Then once I'd thought about it, I'd of said spiders, and being unemployed.
I have always been scared of the things most of us are: instability, unpredictability and struggle.
Most of you might agree, that you too are terrified of not having a regular income and a secure job, and not being able to comfortably live and enjoy life with a healthy bank balance.
I personally have always played it safe and feel much more secure when I am paying each bill, in full, every month, and so, financial peril has always been just too unnerving a prospect to think about; I have always made sure I was never unemployed.
But I have now left behind the relative relaxed lifestyle I had, where I at least had enough money to get by, stay out of debt, and live fairly happily.
I became a nomad in March 2015 and I have been unemployed (or casually employed) for much of the last year, and guess what, I'm doing okay!
It has not always been an easy or wondrous experience since arriving in Australia, but as of yet, none of our fears or obstacles have made us quit. And neither should they stop you from travelling in the first place.
If you really need convincing as to why travel is awesome, beyond the fact that it's fun, eye-opening and life-altering, keep on reading...
9 Reasons To Travel While You Can:
1. Life is short, too short, and sometimes really crappy
Okay, interesting and negative place to begin, but, what I mean by this is, life, from many angles, is frustrating, stressful and endlessly unfair, which is why we have to carve out beauty in our lives as best we can.
We have to try and squeeze out as much joy from each day, which for some can involve taking our little selves across sea, land and sky, to see it all, before we no longer can, before we are old enough and cynical enough to regret not having done so.
2. Routine leads to predictable (and boring) results
Our daily lives often become made up of routines and habits, rarely deviating from a normal range of actions and emotions. It can feel like nothing is that exciting or inspiring when we are lost in unfulfilling ruts.
If you ALWAYS work a Monday to Friday, and ALWAYS eat spaghetti on a Wednesday, and ALWAYS sleep in on a Saturday, is it really possible to ever feel anything other than entirely predictable feelings that are okay and fine, but they are just that, fine.
Travel is unpredictable, in a good way; everyday can bring something new and never-before experienced, and it can completely reinvigorate your senses and alter your world-view.
It can make you fall back in love with life, enough to not need the safety (and dullness) of predictable routines all the time.
3. Your career or job does not define you
You are not the achievements you have built up on your resume or the promotions you have gained or the title on a name badge.
Yes, you should absolutely strive for success and be proud of your achievements but if you choose a different path, even for a short while, that's okay, and it isn't a regressive move.
Maybe some people enjoy living to work, as opposed to working to live, but I know which kind of person I am, and that's one who wants to see the amazing stuff and DO the amazing stuff.
I fully appreciate that one day I will likely settle down and that will likely involve regular work. But I like to think that first I can focus on selfish exploration and adventure, and that I don't need the outward markers of success to feel good inside.
4. Babies are cute, but they can wait
Many of us millennials are ready to pro-create, because its the done thing. People do it all the time, and that's totally cool.
But babies turn into children and children turn into teenagers who turn into adults; having a baby is not a short-term thing and you have to be truly ready to grow, birth and then build that human for, well, the rest of your life.
So when you start popping out mini-me's, it will inevitably make it harder to simply leave your home country for an unlimited amount of time and do whatever the hell you want.
There is a lot more to think about when children come into the frame; education, health, stability.
All the things you would need to provide your children, are not as easy to manage when you're living a nomadic lifestyle, so maybe travelling now is better than later, before chubby little humans take over.
5. Life is unpredictable; but you can bet on death and taxes
Our lives take the oddest and harshest of turns at times. I have always had a tendency to ruminate on the worst possible scenarios that could befall me.
But its possible the saddest thing that can happen to anyone is not living life to the absolute fullest because of the fear of what could happen.
You really have to ask yourself the question, whether the bad things come or not, what can I do to build solid foundations and powerful memories which will build me up when I need to recover from whatever life throws my way.
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6. See the world without financial commitments elsewhere
People might associate travel with needing a lot of money in the bank to begin with, when that's really not the case. However, you do kinda need to not be paying for 5 different bills, from loans, to credit cards to mortgages.
What you do need is limited financial commitments and some healthy savings to launch yourself off on your way.
Thanks to the thousands of people who travel, and who thus demand better deals on all things associated with it, it is becoming easier to afford your backpacking adventure. But there will still be times where you will have no regular income, and during that time, you really don't want to be worrying about your bank balance at home.
Fantastic websites such as Workaway and Couchsurfing are evidence of a whole sect of services geared at making travelling easier on the bank balance, but it helps to have few financial burdens to begin with.
7. If you don't use it, you lose it
This is true of a lot of things; if you don't actively engage your mind, it turns to mush. And here I apply that idea, as well as physical health and fitness.
When you go travelling, you are often constantly seeing and doing new things, potentially challenging your mind and body, and so there will inevitably be health benefits that will come with these experiences.
Whether its slightly tighter thighs, enviable calf muscles, or simply, a clearer and less stressed mind, what else is going to shake up your life so radically, from the inside-out?
8. You deserve fun before the serious stuff sets in
Many people focus their everyday life entirely on the things that will come down the line, as mentioned above, like babies, marriage, a home.
But of course none of these things are guaranteed so much as they are wanted and expected.
Then again these things CAN wait, because if you are like Taran and I, still young enough to be mildly terrified of babies, marriage and mortgages, that's because you aren't yet ready for them and you should be using your time to grow and have fun!
9. If not now, when?
People often see happiness as a destination, as a place they will eventually reach, if they just get THAT job, buy THAT car, buy THAT house, marry THAT person.
But what if you get all the supposed markers of fulfilment and still feel dissatisfied?
Life doesn't have to be merely the ticking off of a list of things you believe you need or want, with a deadline attached to each milestone.
Instead, you can focus on the now, and make choices each day that make you happy, instead of gearing your every move towards an imagined and unpredictable future.
I believe that travel is an option for anyone, whilst acknowledging that it's not necessarily an easy one.
Many of us choose to live our lives guided by an imaginary timeline put upon us by societal norms. We feel like we should follow a certain path according to a certain method and we often break our backs trying to conform because we believe it will make us happy.
Or, we can do things differently whilst it makes the most sense to.
If life really is one long list of deadlines then maybe we should defer some, and appreciate that life is more than a tick-list of actions we must undertake based on the opinions and behaviours of others.
From our experience, travel has helped us appreciate life differently, and become more open-minded but most importantly, more present and mindful, focusing on the joy to be found from one moment to the next.
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Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!
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