Thought Catalog
February 13, 2017

This Is What Travel Means To Me

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A lot of people say they want to travel, but only very few get to actually experience the wonders of the world. Travel has a different meaning to everyone – some do it to escape their everyday life, some do it to take the kids on vacation, some do it to find themselves, but not me. I live to travel – I want to make a life of travel.

I’ve never wanted a conventional life, a life that I feel a need to escape, filled with discontent and comfort. I’ve never wanted to be stuck in an office building all day, never able to wander away when it’s time to leave. I’ve always wanted more than that, and it’s possible.

Travel means freedom, it means finding yourself lost in the most amazing ways.

Travel to me means waking up at 4 AM to get to the best spot to watch the sunrise. It means getting lost in a different country without Google maps and turning it into a whole new adventure. It means trying to communicate in broken English and being thankful that the other person is willing to try to understand you. It means learning patience and taking acceptance to a whole new level.

Travel to me means making friends with the locals and respecting their culture. It means spending time in dive bars and local restaurants because someone in passing recommended it to you. It means going places to truly explore, not just going places to say you’ve been there. It’s recognizing it’s better to stay in one country for a month than try to jam in three.

Travel to me means building relationships with people you never would have met otherwise and treating them like family. It’s trusting people you barely know and putting your faith in the world that things will all work out. It’s having a burning urge to see as much as possible and really live in the moment. It’s helping out when you see someone you don’t know struggling and sharing pieces of your heart with them.

Travel to me means getting lost in little bookstores and cafes. Striking up conversation with those around you and appreciating the tiny treasures in the area you discover. It’s experiencing as many new things as you can. It’s not getting upset when the bus is late and learning how to laugh at the situations you get into.

Travel to me means learning to live with the bare minimum and realizing that’s all you really need in life. It’s realizing that possessions do nothing but suffocate you and that happiness comes from freedom. It’s living simply and sleeping soundly in places you’ve never heard of with a hostel packed with eager strangers, like yourself.

Travel means being happy with a little bit of everything. It’s thrilling and heartbreak, it’s exciting and scary, it’s every emotion wrapped up into a sea of memories and experiences that you wouldn’t trade for the world.

All I want from travel is to bask in the bliss I feel and learn to appreciate every moment life brings me. I want to form relationships that are going to leave me in tears when I’m forced to say goodbye. I want to learn as much as I can from everyone I cross paths with about their culture and lifestyles. I want to breathe in unfamiliar air and exhale fear and uncertainty.

I want to trust that where I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I want to look past what’s right in front of me and learn to love the world harder for all it truly is.

This is what travel means to me – to live fully, to accept others, to learn in every area you can and to allow the world to shape you in to the best person you can truly be. Because to me, travel is far more valuable than money will ever be. TC mark

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