I’ve been home from travelling for three weeks now and it’s been the strangest three weeks of my life, so in my mood of nostalgia, I thought I’d write about how travelling can help you lead a better life.
I’m pretty confident that you would have seen my posts showering social media by now, whether it’s my Instagram’s from The Philippines or my YouTube videos about backpacking Australia. However, if by some rare mystery you have missed all that, let me set the scene for you.
For the past 12 months, I have lived the best life that I could ever have imagined. For 9 months, I lived, worked and travelled my way around Australia, holding jobs such as working on a red pepper farm (actual hell), working for a charity call centre (semi hell) and working in a vegan restaurant (hip and edgy). We lived in hostels but also lived in our own apartments in Melbourne and Sydney.
When my visa was coming to its expiry, I moved onto exploring Indonesia, seeing what Bali and The Gili Islands had to offer. It was such a contrast from Australia and I bloody loved it. After almost a month, we moved onto The Philippines which was just… wow. Absolutely beautiful.
So you’re all caught up. That was rather quick, hey? I’ve learnt that ‘hey’ business from Australians, they say it after everything. Anyway, whilst I’ve been out there ‘finding myself’ I have genuinely lived a better life.
My concept of money has changed.
I worked bloody hard before I left for Australia. I made sure that I had set myself up, paying for flights and visas, as well as making sure I had enough money to live off until I found a job. Every penny went into my travels and this included whilst I was over there too. Every step of the way you’re just saving to move on.
It made me realise that money is really important, but it’s also not what should drive you to live. I’ve been so happy with earning hardly anything, but I still manage to get by. Who cares if you have a bangin’ salary? I honestly believe that if you’re happy, then you don’t need to be earning mega bucks.
Travelling will make you grow and change as a person. For the better.
I am 100% a completely different person to when I left, and I’m not just talking about my skin damage or the length of my hair… haha. It’s like I’m writing one of them cringe posts where people are like “Can’t you see how much I’ve changed?!” and you know what, I agree with them!
I am so confident in myself and I love it. I’m also proud of myself. Travelling the world is such a scary concept, and I was actually pretty anxious 99% of the time. Rocking up in a new place like yo, Ben’s here, when I have no clue what I’m going to do. We packed up our lives and shoved it into our backpacks so many times and just moved on.
We turned up to major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, then built ourselves our own little lives with a home and a job. We paid bills and commuted to work with the rest of Australia. I just think that’s fantastic. You will meet so many people along the way and have the most bizarre experiences, and this will shape you into such a versatile person. I really like the person that I’ve become.
Nothing at home has changed.
I mean, some of the physical things have changed. I walked into my house after a year and placed my trusty rucksack on the floor. I was walking into each room like, “Ooh yep new dining table I see” and “These tea and coffee pots are new!”. It would spin me out that I was home, yet tiny things were different.
Anyway, after you notice that houses have been demolished and shops have closed down, you also notice that the dramas are still the same. People’s habits haven’t changed, Joe still isn’t talking to Sally after their devastating breakup and the upstairs toilet still doesn’t flush.
It’s hard because you’ve changed so drastically! When you once agreed with some people’s opinions, you’ll probably now silently judge from afar. How bad is that haha? Most people will think you’ve been on a long holiday when it was so much more than that. People will also get bored hearing about how amazing it was.
But this just makes you realise how far you’ve come! I feel like I’ve had such an enriched year. Yes, nothing has changed at home, so this makes you notice how much you have grown as a person.
You’ll realise that there’s more to life.
I said that the past three weeks have been weird and they have. I didn’t think coming home would affect me emotionally, but it really has! Sometimes I have good days, sometimes I have days when I feel really bloody down.
You might be reading this thinking, bloody hell Ben, get a grip! If I’m honest, I agree! Get a grip Ben, jeez. The thing is, no matter how hard you try to explain to your friends and family what it was like to experience all these amazing things, no one will really understand. I’ve been constantly on the go for the past 12 months and suddenly I’m in my little room, typing away on my laptop and constantly refreshing Facebook.
My point is that you’ll realise whilst you’ve been on the move, you were living in every single moment and taking full advantage of life. Now, I’m not trying to say that I’ve turned into Gandhi whilst I’ve been away. Social media was still involved in my travels and I wasn’t swimming with whale sharks every day. So, what I’ve realised is that there’s so much more to life than just being stuck in a routine of work, eat, scroll through Facebook, bed. That’s all that matters, is that you know it can be different and you can make that choice not to be part of the rat race.
I really hope that this article made sense to at least one person haha. I’ve written it on a whim and didn’t really plan how this was going to go at all. Let me know if you could relate to any of this at all…
This post also turned out to be a lot more personal than I intended. No, I haven’t turned into a bohemian, spiritual shaman, that would be very stereotypical, wouldn’t it?
Travelling has just allowed me to open my eyes and realise that you don’t have to be stuck in a career and live to work. My attitudes and opinions have changed for the better and I feel like I’m much more in tune with myself.
Now, I’m not saying if you don’t go travelling then you will never be happy haha. I realise that for some people, having a career, a home and starting a family will make them the happiest they have ever been. And that’s okay! Whatever makes you happy makes it worthwhile.