‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ Mark Twain.
As the festive season quickly becomes a distant memory, the decorations are pulled down and the last of the oversized turkey finally gets polished off, the New Year looms over us all like some domineering force of peer pressure, filling us with sincere desires to revamp, transform and better ourselves. So as we start to come out of the stupor from the end of year festivities and a whole, brand new year starts to roll out in front of us, a lot of minds will inevitably turn to thoughts of things they want to accomplish in the new year.
Many people will make the usual resolutions, the same ones they did last year and the year before that. Lose weight, stop eating the entire packet of biscuits, spend less time at work, exercise more, finally get round to decorating the bedroom … the list is long and uninspiring and usually forgotten as quickly as it takes them to finally enter the gym, see the treadmill and realise that losing their flabby gut will actually take some work!
Many others though will make one of the most popular resolutions out there, to travel more in the new year. To finally see some of the world. And a few of them will actually decide that this is the year they finally realise their dreams and take some positive steps to actually do something about it.
That was me, over a decade ago now. I had the same dream of seeing the world that so many others across the country had. I just knew that travel had to be part of my life that year. I never made a specific resolution as such, I simply knew I wanted to see the world, to travel. And I did.
I have spent the last decade backpacking independently around the world on both long and short trips, sometimes for a few weeks, sometimes a lot longer, the length of time didn’t really matter because I was backpacking. I was following my dream! For my first backpacking adventure I flew to South East Asia with barely a clue what I was doing and I had one of the best times of my life on a trip that absolutely changed my outlook forever. I just went out and did it! And I haven’t stopped since then.
I have had many other dreams and ambitions along the way of course, and in that time I have done more than most people will in a lifetime. I have gained two degrees, built and maintained a good career, ticked endless things off my personal bucket list, and I have seen the world whilst doing it. Not bad eh?
Do you know how I did it?
I wanted to!
I really just wanted to. There are no tricks or secrets here, I knew what I wanted out of life and what I didn’t want, dropped what I didn’t want by the wayside and I went for it!
And If I can do it, if I can realise my dreams of backpacking around the world, then you can too!
Because believe me, there is absolutely nothing special about me. I’m just an ordinary guy with an ordinary job. I’m not a playboy billionaire, I’m not a lottery winner or an MP with a vast expense account and 6 months paid holiday a year and I certainly don’t have a huge trust fund or a credit card that mummy and daddy pay off each month. Hell, I wish I did!
All I have is my desire to make travel a priority in my life.
I get so many people saying to me how lucky I am to have travelled so much, how lucky I am to be able to do what I do and how they wish they could do the same. I’ve heard the same stuck record so often now it has become a monotonous drone. It isn’t luck that allows me to travel so much, it isn’t some quirky twist of fate or a miraculous lottery win, it is simple, old fashioned desire. I know what I want, I work damn hard to get it and I make a conscious decision to make travel a priority. Yet when I tell these exact same people that there is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing the exact same thing they look at me as if I have a screw loose or I’m the Antichrist for daring to suggest that they could possibly take a break from their oh so hard lives, and then they reel off the same tired self prophesising excuses and justifications as to why it is impossible for them.
‘If you want something hard enough you will always find a way to get it. If not, you will always find an excuse.’
Elephant hugs are awesome!
So as 2014 begins and thoughts of travel start to enter your dreams, just follow them! Don’t listen to the excuses, ignore all the negativity and just go for it! If your dream is to travel the world – for whatever reason – then there is absolutely nothing stopping you but yourself!
Anyone can follow their travel dreams, anyone can escape the rat race or claw their way out of the rut they have created for themselves in their lives, anyone can travel the world if they just want it enough! If you want something enough, if you desire it enough, you will get it! You just need that desire, that craving, that yearning that this is what you want to do. So for those of you out there who are on the verge of making that step but are still plagued with the same doubts and questions that everyone has, then I hope use this article to wash them out of your mind because trust me, you can do it!
Life is very short and very fragile. Believe me. I’ve seen far too many examples of that in my nursing career. So don’t waste it by wishing you could be doing something instead of actually doing it.
If you want to travel the world, go, do it. It really is that simple. I can help you with the logistics and all the practical information you need, I can help you with all the tips and the advice you can handle, but it is you who has to take that first step. Just change your mindset, make your dreams and aspirations a priority and believe that you can change your life. Believe that you can live your dreams and travel the world on your own terms and make it happen!
‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.’ Henry Ford.