‘I AM LEAVING, BUT I AM LIVING’
It will probably be one of the hardest decisions you will have to make, leaving your loved ones and friends at home whilst you go exploring around the world. You will feel guilty and selfish. You will second guess yourself and question whether you’re doing the right thing. But if you are serious about living your life and seeing the world then its a slight sacrifice to make.
You still have to live your life
For the most part, they will still be there when you get back whether you are gone for a few months, a year or even more than that. My friends are all living their lives, getting married, putting mortgages down on houses, having kids etc, so why cant I?
My family are all the same. My brother and sister are living their lives, having serious relationships, getting engaged, focusing on their careers and planning on getting houses. Its just my life goals are slightly different from them theirs.
Set their arguments aside
Your parents may not be too chuffed with the idea of you going for such a long periods of time either, wanting you to stay at home and not be on the other side of the world. Its a selfish act I wont lie. Its something you have to do. Something you have to at least get out of your system and try.
‘There are so many new lands and people out there that you have met yet’
New experiences to be had and to live
Family and friends are a tricky one to understand. They can either be fully supportive (and luckily for me, mine are at the moment) or they can be fully against you going, throwing every doubt your way and challenging all your decisions making you doubt yourself more. It can deflating and saddening, almost ruining the idea for you. The only way to put it out of your mind is to ignore it and them.
Common reasons not to leave:
‘Why would you quit your career?’
Let’s face it: unless you suddenly win the lottery or get rich, you’ll be working until you’re dead. The notion of working until a certain age and then retiring is long gone in the modern economy. When people tell me that I should get a job, I respond that if I’m going to be working well into my old age, I’d rather spend my healthy years exploring the world instead of sitting in an office.
There will always be time later to work. Working towards those nice cars, houses and household items is great, but you cant take them with you. I want to be able to say I saw the world when I’m too old to explore anymore and live in those fond memories instead of regretting not taking them.
‘I wish I could do that but I have too many responsibilities’
This is basically a nice little dig at you saying that you are dropping your responsibilities and running away. It is just pure jealousy at its finest. I just tell people like that they can travel too. I am in the exact same boat as them. Once you take care of your debts and sell your stuff, you can set off on your own journey. It doesn’t matter how old are you or if you have kids. Where there is a will there is a way. Those who truly want to travel can and will.
‘There’s so much terrorism in the world, its not safe’
I hear this one a lot, especially with the recent bombings in Bangkok. My family and friends were instantly on the phone to me when this news broke out telling me not to go and to stay. But i just reassured them and myself that unfortunately this is how the world is these days and I am not going to let it stop me living my life.
You cant live in fear
I live right next to London and this is the most likely place for an attack so its no different. Crime happens everywhere. It occurs in NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, and every small town and medium city in between. You can walk out of your house and be mugged or hit by a bus. Just like you can travel the world and never have anything happen to you. There is no place in the world that is 100% safe. Once you put it into this perspective for people, it usually ends the subject.
‘Why wont you settle down and have children?’
This again is quite a common one from friends and family. Its a social norm to do this by the time you are at least 30 and most of the people I know already have. But for me its not what I want. Not right now anyway. My priorities lie elsewhere in foreign lands, seeing the world and living my life whilst I am still young and able to. I will settle down when I find the right person to settle down with, and that person could be found anywhere in the world. I do want to find someone I’m in ‘love’ with, but I won’t settle for just anyone
Its something you have to do yourself
But mostly there will always be people who hate and resent you. I have already had a few close friends cut ties with me because I told them I am going away for a few years and just like that they cant be bothered with me anymore. Its very saddening and disheartening. I have known these people for years and been through so much with them but they were so quick to drop me I have to question, were they really friends at all?
I was told that this may happen, because it has happened to a few of my friends who are still out in the world travelling, but I didn’t quite believe them. Now that it has however I say good riddance, they clearly weren’t my friends and I have no time in my life for people like that. It just opens your eyes and make you realise you should never hold yourself back for anyone.
Give it a go!
Don’t let anyone get you down or try to put you off travelling and living your life. There are so many networks out there that can help you – Email me, follow travel blogs, join forums with similar minded people and display positive thought and emotions.
Get excited about travelling. Fulfill those dreams, book those flights, ignore the haters and gently tell your loved ones that you NEED to do this. If you don’t you will regret it, and they will understand this….maybe not straight away, but eventually.