Travel the World
Travel the world for a year or more, and you’ll soon be a hero to many of your neighbours.
People talk about the Great Wonders of the World, like they’re medals on a wounded soldier. But could you drop everything, and travel the world? Let’s strip away our hippy-skins and rediscover a few home truths about what it’s actually like to travel the world for an extended period.
I’ve recently returned home after forty months on the road; I spent 14-months in Asia, travelling through some of the more remote areas of the continent, as well as over a year in both Australia and New Zealand.
Without wanting to come across as a “travel wanker”, I want you to be confident that I know what it takes to travel the world.
Dealing with Emotions
I won’t try and notch up any Man Points: Travelling the world can be one of the most emotionally unstable periods of your life.
You develop emotions you never knew existed; steaming embers of hate, doused by passing showers of laughter.
“Lonely” appears larger, and more hollow than you can ever imagine. “Relief” is undulating, somehow at the mercy of a hidden sea. “Happiness” is so high you begin to believe your water was spiked.
Paranoia. Paranoia? Paranoia.
While you’re travelling, you’re trading your emotions with passing friends like Top Trumps. Some you snog. Some you share. Some you shag. Some you slap. If you’re lucky, to some you’ll do all four.
The Practicalities of Travel
Many people will tell you it’s easy to just change your life. “As long as you have your passport, you’re alright, mate, follow your dreams and travel the world!”
Before you head off, you need to find a home for all that lumpy, dented, and oversized stuff that you’ve accumulated: The car. The house. The dog. The girlfriend. And everything in between.
Unless you have a rather forgiving gaggle of kith and kin, who are prepared to help you sift through and pack your entire collection of stuff, you’re in for a long and arduous few weeks.
Not to mention, that unless you have one huge cavernous space to put all of that stuff, then it will be split up like a pod of tearful orphans, and sent to all four corners of the country.
Then there’s that gangly, dumpy crew themselves.
Your family and friends are almost always waiting for an email from you. They’re living their lives through you; despite not understanding you, and lest we forget the one time when you’re travelling that you forget one of their birthdays.
The Costs of Travelling
It costs a lot of money to travel the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to India and living in an ashram: Life isn’t free. Experiences are; emotions are; but travelling is not.
Sure, you can save money in any number of ways: you can CouchSurf, hitchhike, or crew yachts between begging sessions.
But at some point.
You’ll need to put your skinny fingers, in your dirty pockets, and pay for something.
Ever heard the saying, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? The same goes for travelling.
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to jump on the ferry to France without a worry in the world, but before you even decide to travel the world, you’re going to need to adjust your attitude.
You’ve saved saved saved, now it’s time to spend spend spend. Can you adjust? If not, you’ll leave a string of missed opportunities in your wake.
Travelling in a Nutshell
Travelling the world is going to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It will almost certainly make you a more rounded, and objective person.
You will learn to understand that patience is a skill, that fear can be flawed and that there is nothing retro about love. But you knew all this anyway, right?
If you decide to travel the world, consider saving some money by using my World Nomads Promotional Code and helping to support TrailofAnts.com at the same time.