I didn’t take the normal route when I graduated high school, I just wasn’t like the other kids. Sure school came easy to me, I was a straight ‘A’ student, but school didn’t make me happy. I didn’t see the point in pursuing college when I didn’t know what I wanted to do and knew I would in turn have a bunch of debt that was seemingly pointless. So I made the choice to pursue something different: Traveling.
At 23, I’ve have been blessed to have traveled as much as I have and I’ve barely scratched the surface, touching under 10 percent of the world.
Quitting my full time job last year, I walked away from the familiar and comfortable and began exploring. The past year alone I’ve learned more traveling that has shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve learned so much and am continuing to learn everyday, heres only a touch of what I’ve learned so far.
1. Don’t answer to anyone but yourself: At first this is something that takes a lot to remember. You’re whole life you’ve had parents and bosses to answer to, explain your reasoning, explain where you are, explain why you’re late. Moving somewhere by yourself and finding your place in this world where you answer to yourself, you will do things because you want to and you don’t have to explain to anyone your choices. This is a liberating feeling, you finally understand you are the author of your story.
2. The world is a horrible place: There is a time in your life when you actively realize that the world isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. So previously sheltered you tend to see the good in life, alone you realize that there is some messed up things in life, there is people who want nothing but to better themselves and don’t care who they step on to do that. The world is full of evil and you unfortunately must learn to live with this.
3. Sometimes you don’t get what you want: Whether this is people or things, you will not get everything you want in life, that’s the cold hard truth. Maybe it takes rejection, maybe it takes becoming an adult, but realizing this is vital to thriving in life, when you can accept this you will not feel like you are being deprived of anything.
4. Money doesn’t equal happiness: Sure, money makes life easier, with money you can buy things that will bring you happiness, but if you are looking for genuine happiness the kind that warms your soul, you will NOT find this in money or objects. People and experiences are far more valuable that anything you can buy with money. Remember that.
5. Friendship is one of the most important things: This falls right off the last, with friends you are invincible. The kind of friendship I’m talking about is the kind that you whole heartedly know you would do jail-time for someone else. Defending them comes without a second thought. You share every up and down with these people, they make you stronger, they make you a better person. Never take these friendships for granted.
6. Not everyone will like you: As silly as it is, everyone always wants to be accepted and liked by everyone. Understanding that not everyone will like you is a vital part of life, it’ll make the dislike of another less of a blow. Definitely goes with; you win some, you lose some.
7. Give everything 110 percent of your effort: In everything you do, give everything you have, invest into moments, experiences, jobs, and people. The more you put into things, the more you will receive. Never half heartedly go into anything in your life, the reward is far greater when you care and work hard.
8. Love with your whole heart, even if it breaks at the end: Relationships in any sense of the word take effort, but never be fearful of loving. Love with everything, give everything you can in respect of not giving someone all of yourself. Sometimes it will be successful other times you will come out the other end broken and in pieces, but you will have learned something new about love and about yourself.
9. Believe in yourself: You have so much power if you actually believe in yourself. When you doubt in your abilities, you will do less, try less, explore less, but when you truly believe in your abilities, the possibilities are endless. Trust in yourself, and know that anything is possible.
10. Step out of your comfort zone: Don’t let yourself get too comfortable; be willing to try something you’ve never done, or eat something you never thought you would. You might surprise yourself, you can even possibly change the whole direction of your life.
What are you waiting for, don’t just take my word for it. Go out, explore! Learn in an untraditional way, see the world with a different set of eyes.
For anyone who doesn’t know…count down for next adventure:
Colombia in less than 2 weeks!!