Go more. Experience more. Enjoy more.
Want to travel the world? Traveling has never been easier. You could be almost anywhere on the face of Earth in a day or two. This weekend, you could be kayaking in Venice or hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
It is all a matter of choice where you want to travel. Whether you’re exploring your own country or going abroad, one thing is certain – you will be back different. If you feel like it’s high time to start planning your escape, you are in the right place. For me, traveling is much more than just crossing places off the bucket list. The lessons I’ve learned while taking on unfamiliar territory left me with endless stories and connections from all
Here are my top 5 best reasons why traveling is an experience like no other.
BEST 5 REASONS WHY TO TRAVEL
When was the last time you checked your phone? Exactly.
Traveling helps to disconnect from social media and relieve the stress of everyday life. It’s all to easy to worry all the time, or to be constantly looking ahead. Luckily there’s a cure for that. Traveling encourages us to live in the moment. Whether we’re diving in Australia or trying to make Thai Massaman curry, we are in the moment, fully immersed in creating new experiences. Don’t miss on new people and new memories because you are too busy checking your Instagram.
Sit back and relax. Be open. Wonderful things happen when you don’t have every segment of your life under control.
TO MEET NEW PEOPLE
It is easy to connect with like-minded people when traveling. Strangers easily become friends on the road. If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best, you can only attract the same kind of people into your life.
Don’t worry if you’re shy. The chances are that the other person is too! Make the first move! Interesting and friendly people can be found in hostels, bookshops, cafes… When traveling on your own, join the free walking tours and stay in hostels. There are people out there craving for real connections as much as you are. Meet with the people who love what you love, whether is skating or snorkeling. Learn basic phrases of a local language. Join a cooking class. Ask that cute guy or a girl to join you for a coffee. Be brave. The time is now.
You got this. Just be yourself.
TO LEARN (THE WORLD IS YOUR CLASSROOM)
Go as many places as you can. Not only you’ll see different landscapes, but you’re going to see how people live on the other side of the world. Media can be deceiving. Social media can be deceiving. Not everything is as it seems.
People are good wherever you go, no matter what television might tell you. There are different ways of life, and to understand that there isn’t just one way to do things, broadens your horizons. Don’t try to change other people’s beliefs but rather try to understand their point of view.
Your mind is expanding through good and bad experiences. The skills you gain throughout your adventures will make you a better, more understanding and grateful person. Invest some time into seeing how other people live.
Not everyone has the privilege to travel. You do. Use all your senses. Appreciate your own home. Take in everything. Traveling is the best teacher that anyone could ever have.
TO ESCAPE THE ROUTINE
People travel for different reasons. Whether your sipping cocktails at the beach in Croatia or discovering limestone caves in Japan, at the end of the day every travel is personal. You create your own experiences by choosing the people you spend time with, activities and locations.
Somebody once said that we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. I don’t promote travel as a tool to “escape” day to day life. Instead, I encourage a life of travels, a life full of memories. Routine is boring but essential. It’s just as exciting to return home as it is to leave for your journey. Traveling helps us to break from the routine and everyday tasks. We all need to chill from time to time, right?
Choose your destination wisely and immerse yourself in a new culture. Make more time for yourself and things you usually wouldn’t have time for. Let yourself rest. Leave your everyday bubble. Recharge your batteries to face everyday challenges as a warrior.
TO BE A HAPPIER PERSON
“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you”, Neil Gaiman says.
You can’t escape from your thoughts and emotions no matter how far you go. Money helps you to buy a plane ticket and book an awesome hotel, but it doesn’t buy happiness. Which moment will stay with you longer – buying new shoes or seeing that incredibly romantic sunset in Africa?
Create memories. See traveling as a way to make yourself even more happier rather than a shortcut to short-term happiness. Try volunteering. It will have the positive impact both on your personality and communities. Give more to receive more. New experiences can spark feelings of compassion. It will make you humble and grateful for what is already yours. It will shape you into a stronger and more confident person. Travel builds new relationships and how cool it is to have friends all over the world?
Become happy and the world around you will be a happier place.
Are travellers running away? What are we running towards, what are we running away from?
Not sure why, but there’s a perception that anyone who travels on long trails, travels to escape “real life” and responsibilities. There is a perception that anyone who travels for more than one or two weeks, travels because he or she is not prepared to “settle down”, to find a “real” job, pay bills and plan a family.
Once I got a comment on my blog from a girl who wrote me that it’s OK if I don’t “travel all the time”, because sometimes, I need to live a life.
I wrote her back that I travel because I like to run.
Left in Colombia
Traveling is running towards a better version of me. I run, not to make my fears and insecurities disappear, but to face them. Let me explain. If we’re always in the safe vicinity of our family and friends, how will we ever find out how to be on our own? Why is it so important to spend time on your own?
We are born and die alone. At night when we close our eyes, we are alone. Other people cannot make us happy if we haven’t found happiness within ourselves first. Love. We cannot love other people if we haven’t figured out what is meaning of love for us. That’s why I travel far and wide. Demanding destinations guarantee personal growth. When my Colombian friend left me in the middle of Cali, the world capital of salsa and in of the most violent cities in Colombia, I wasn’t indifferent. Colombia was for more safer from his car and guidance.
– You have to overcome fear. You travel to meet the world and to document it – he said and literally threw me out of his car with handwritten instructions on how to get back to him.
As a student, I was sitting in a cinema in Zagreb at a festival dedicated to travellers. There was a travel magazine on my seat. I fell for its glossy pages and photos that show foreign worlds. If I can’t travel myself, I can at least subscribe to a travel magazine, I thought so then. The travellers with amazing destinations and stories took turns on the stage, inspiring us sitting in the audience. Each of their words led me to places that I thought only existed in dreams. I got goosebumps listening to them. I felt something I couldn’t explain at the time. Now I know it was something like awakening.
Transformation starts within
Even though from early age I felt that I was going to travel and live in other countries, I didn’t know when and how it would happen. I wanted to be just like them – a traveller. I wanted to be brave and full of stories. Am I capable or am I too paralyzed by fear, I wondered then. They must have been saving for a long time. Maybe somebody helped them. I admired them as a child would admire things that are bigger than herself. I thought I couldn’t do what they were doing, until one morning I woke up and simply decided that I could.
The turning point was when I realized that the only thing standing between me and my dreams was what was in my head. It wasn’t about money or lack of time. My biggest barrier was believing that I could not make it happen for myself. My own thoughts prevented me from living a life I always wanted. That simple change in my thoughts made a huge difference. All the insecurities and fears? I created them. I fed them. I was my own worst enemy.
Except for the last trip to Morocco, on each trip I went alone. All alone. When I was twenty something years old, I sat on the flight of Croatia Airlines. Destination was Istanbul. Plane ticket was cheap and Istanbul was a world I knew nothing about. I was hungry. For different worlds. For far away. Istanbul found me. It was chaotic and raw and majestic. It was perfect.
Hunger for the East
In Istanbul, I ran from the police and the water cannons and the pepper spray. I went to karaoke where I met a native American. I chatted with Turks over endless cups of tea. I went in and out of trams. I spent hours bargaining and getting lost in the Grand Bazaar, a labyrinth of about 4,000 shops selling spices and teas, pots, clothing, lamps and sweets. I sat in the Blue Mosque. Alone.
Upon graduation from college, I flew more than 8,400 kilometers away from Croatia. Alone. I put my whole life into a red backpack. One-way ticket had one name on it – Thailand. Again I was hungry. This time for the worlds that were even further. I went from one temple to another. I admired the lanterns in Bangkok Chinatown, I ate spicy foods and stared at the palm trees during long train rides. Alone.
In spite of fear, I dived into the mad sea in search of glowing plankton. I chased fireflies and sunsets. I was cycling around the island of Koh Phangan until my feet couldn’t take it. Or until I was being chased by dogs. I followed a Buddhist monk into the woods. He felt my presence but said nothing. I knew he was smiling at me. This childish game brought me to a mango stand. I bought two and tore them with my bare hands, enjoying their sweetness. Alone.
Submission for Travel writing scholarship 2018 in Argentina, with Worldnomads.com/Living in a Treehouse (http://bit.ly/2FoYUIE).
The floor made of sand creaked rhythmically under my feet. Ocean breeze flowed through the invisible walls, surrounded by the island’s lush jungle paths. Giggling, they were building secret spaces among the comfy cushions, ignoring my presence. I was marveling at the world that was unfolding before my eyes. I’ve been dreaming of this place for more than two years. Arriving felt like remembering everything I knew and somehow forgot.
„Miss, what are you looking for?“ „The treehouse,”
I replied to the voice behind the mangoes. “Oh, it’s just there”,
Mon said, pointing at the sign “Welcome home.” Home it became, with Mon’s delicious massaman curry, its remote location, misty mountains and travelers from all walks of life. The Earth was singing. Or was it my five-year-old heart?
Give me endless plane rides
and bouncy overnight buses.
Give me days filled with stories
and starry nights.
Give me strangers and goodbyes.
Gently, let’s go somewhere new
to ignore the odds
and be destroyed in the most beautiful way.
In the deeper ways
Eating all of our unspoken words.
To make sense
of the chaos
Give me fireworks.
Give me places and people to feel
Give me the wander
and the lost feet,
and I promise
I will come for more.
The search is beautiful.
The one where her mind and heart go to a place before unimagined. Where a blissful touch of summer warmth reveal the start of something new.
It caught her…
On winding roads… In the salty waters where the wondrous creatures swim. In between laughing with the like-minded souls and warming her feet by the fireplace.
It caught her…
In all the quiet spaces, while marveling at the moments that made her feel free.
Now she understands.
The search is beautiful and the fate is sealed.
Always moving, never the same.
Never calmed, constantly amending.
Truly it is another world when she packs the little she needs and begins to move.
Even where there may not be anything for others, she is where she wants to be…
In the smells of new places, completely drowned in wanderlust.
She is aware of the risks but doesn’t care, as she knows how soul smashingly beautiful life can be.
Now she just can’t get enough.
It’s time to chase that spark again.
Don’t you think so?
To think of the things you love.
Gather your scattered selves and make them whole again.
Rub your eyes because, I am sure that it’s time.
You learned the things hard way. You risked yourself in the world. You kissed the pain.
And now it’s time.
To find the way home.
I sit in the waiting room and watch the snowflakes stick to the airplanes. While I wait for the boarding, my eyes glance across the man in front of me. In a business suit and with a stern face, he plays games on Facebook. He nervously presses the digits on his mobile phone, while his face remains perfectly still. ‘A little bit longer, a little bit longer, and you’re there’ – I keep telling myself. To the East. To the East. We finally depart. My first solo traveling this is.
To the East…
It seems to me that everyone who spends a lot of time thinking, eventually find themselves setting off for the East at some point in their lives. The truth, the magic of the East calls upon every one of us, but do we all hear its call?
You never lose by giving your time
People do volunteering jobs to make a positive difference in the world, to see other realities, save money and to make a change in the world. Yes, you give your time and don’t receive money but you never loose. With volunteering you can only gain.
Because I wanted to save money during the trip itself, I decided to volunteer in exchange for bed and if I was lucky – food. You choose a country, a job and voila, your resume is enriched for a new experience!