One of the best investments you could make is to travel. It’s something that everyone wants to do, but few actually do. We live in such a privileged era, technology makes traveling so much easier. More people should be taking these opportunities to go abroad. Don’t worry the “American Dream” will march on without you. You can pick up your sleep deprived overworked life when you get back.
There are roughly 193 countries in the world just waiting to be explored! I have yet to meet anyone who has said they regret traveling and why would they? You get to learn so much about yourself, the world, and people. The advice I hear most often is to travel as often as I can, which is exactly what I intend to do. I can talk about why traveling is so good for someone until I’m blue in the face, but ultimately it comes down to YOU. You’re the one who has to want change, get off Netflix, buy a ticket, and go somewhere! I promise you won’t regret it. While living in Medellín I have compiled a list of what I’ve learned throughout traveling. I can only speak from personal experience of course, but I can tell you it’s been one hell of a ride so far and that it’s not stopping.
Few of us can both travel and live the fancy life, which means that travel requires sacrifices. The good old saying more is less rings a bell here, because while abroad you realize what is important in life. Everyone has different needs to be happy. Mine are people that love me and richness of travel. Materialistic things that people fill their lives with are given too much value, but only provide temporary happiness. IPhones, clothes, and new cars lose their shine and value. While your travel experiences will stay with you forever and no one can take them away. Don’t get me wrong I love weekly mani pedi’s just as much as the next girl, but it’s about sacrifice and the bigger picture. Some sacrifices may include living at home, owning and old car, owning an old IPhone that you only can use on speaker phone, and eating out less. It may seem difficult at first, especially when friends are doing the complete opposite, but in the long run it has greater rewards. It’s also fun to come up with creative ways to keep yourself entertained; movie nights, hikes, and board game nights are where it’s at. Don’t let your love for “things” or “stuff” make you miss out on life changing travel. The experiences won’t always be there like the latest IPhone. Free ways I kept myself entertained at home, not too shabby either.
2. The world ain’t so dangerous The ideas of the world being a dangerous place are being shoved down our throats, but it’s actually not. Of course bad things happen, but usually there are reasons behind it that people don’t listen to. Instead they tend to fixate more on negative topics than positive. I met too many comedians before coming to Colombia who said “make sure to score me some good cocaine in Columbia.” After about the fifth person I wanted to start pulling out my hair. First of all that was like 30 years ago and secondly it’s pronounced COLOMBIA jackass! People never cease to amaze me. I can honestly say after living here for about 2 months I have only felt uncomfortable once. I have had worse experiences in my hometown of Vancouver, Washington, that has a population size of roughly 160,000. While Medellín has 3,800,000 people, just to give you an idea of the size difference. Medellín is a great place but you have to use judgement and sense, like any place.
3. Roll with the punches The ugly truth is that when traveling, shit happens. But it’s how you roll with punches that really matters. Don’t let a bad weekend negatively impact the rest of your trip. I can easily say my worst weekend in Colombia was my trip to Cali. For my fellow American readers not California, but the city Cali which is the salsa dancing capital of the world. There are multiple reasons why it was rough, from the taxi drives, to the worst bug bites of my life, to the lack of sleep. After a while you just start to laugh about everything going wrong. After which you brush yourself off and end the weekend on a high note! The high note could be that you meet your soul meet from Ecuador who just so happens to be visiting Cali at the same time as you. Then you end up dancing and talking the night away then part ways. But don’t exchange contact information for the sole purpose of fate. It felt unreal and I’m hopeful to star in a Colombian version of Serendipity. I can feel my fifteen minutes of fame coming!
So looking back there were some good times that came out of Cali, letting my inner movie nerd free by going to a Cinema Museum which was AWESOME. I learned the basic steps of salsa, went to a zoo, and found some great views of the city. It’s important to remember within every bad experience lies a good lesson coupled with some embarrassing stories for later use.
4.“You’re such a brave girl”
What does this even mean? I’m brave because I go for what I want? Anyone can, it’s a choice. So many people were surprised when I said I wanted to move to Colombia and as cliché as it is my heart was set on Latin America. I didn’t see a point on fighting it, because once you’ve got a taste for traveling it only gets more intense. The taste of something better always pondered my mind, especially at home. Once you visit impressive places, have delicious cuisines, and meet great people you never want it to end. It’s no wonder why some people never stop wandering the world, they are captivated by wanderlust. You’re the only person who can make your dreams a reality, you just have to go for it!
Personally the 9-5 life does not appeal to me whatsoever. It works for some and that’s great, but I can’t do it. I want to work for my dreams instead of helping someone else build theirs. Call me brave, but I want my life to be different. I’m prepared for the sacrifices, criticism, and fulfilment that come along with wanting to be a female traveller.
This year is about going for what I want most out of life, no regrets, not even a letter!
You can still make resolutions in March, right?
What have you learned from traveling? What does being a “brave girl” mean to you?