I remember when I left for the first ever grand solo adventure of my life, after quitting my job, I was feeling a bout of the jitters. Fear, excitement and curiosity – they all were playing their part. I had no idea what to expect. Which guidebook to follow. No one among my friends had ever done it before. In three words: I WAS CONFUSED.
I grabbed myself from pondering over this inexperienced moment of past, yesterday, when I received a 700-word long email from one of my readers, mentioning that he has been holding on to a marketing job for the past 10 years, but now he wants to leave his career behind and travel. He wrote to me in search of some kind of assurance. But more than that, as I felt, he needed inspiration. Inspiration to let go, to break free, and experience the world of travel.
To Travel Is To Find New Opportunities
For me, long-term independent travel is like a holy grail. People who haven’t done it before, have absolutely no idea what they are missing out. They have no frame of reference for what it is like. After travelling solo for a long time, one thing that I’ve realized is that the places you see, the people you connect with, the pace of life and the many experiences you slowly sail through – while travelling – helps you discover yourself, from far within.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go” Dr. Seuss
Travel can teach you important life-lessons and can greatly improve you live your non-travel life. You become less afraid, less stressed out, less hung up, more open to possibilities, better at meeting people, more interested in cultural differences, socially more graceful… well, I can go on. And if this doesn’t seem the right fit – you can always go back to what you’re doing – and rest assured, you won’t go empty-handed.
You May Not Find What You’re Looking For, But You Might Just Find Yourself
Many people who leave their corporate job to travel, do so seeking clarity. They feel as if they are missing a purpose in life. They were not happy despite their well-paying jobs and happening social lives.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” Andre Gide
By the time I quit my job, I had grown tired of my lifestyle and of long driving hours to do something that I never enjoyed. Though I had no clue what I wanted in life, if there was one thing I was sure about, it was that I did not want to continue that lifestyle. And now that I’ve started traveling, I’m always excited about every new morning. And speaking of the clarity in life, I’m still seeking it.
Don’t Take Everyone’s Suggestion On Travelling
One of the greatest miseries of the human condition is that we always need assurance. When I was struggling with the idea of quitting my job and travel I asked a few considerable intellectuals about my decision, and they discouraged me to a new level.
Making a leap like this is so far outside the realms of some people’s realities, they can’t understand you. So don’t even bother asking. Focus your energy on yourself. Realize what you want. If you want to see the world a little and understand what is best for you, then there’s no harm taking some time off for it.
There’s an old saying in Dutch which says “He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him”. Life on the road is a lot easier. It’s only the decision, and all those small preparations you do in the process, that is the hardest part. So stop worrying about the potholes in the road, and go enjoy the journey!
Update March 2018: Since I’ve written this article, in 2016, I’ve grown substantially in life (both personally and practically). Travel Blogging has picked fairly well. I now own a hospitality business – my own campsite in Manali (the Himalayas). I have been featured in many publications including the two leading newspapers in India TheEconomicTimes & TheStatesman as the upcoming travel blogger to follow – all because I believed in myself, and into what I was doing. Sure, back then, I was repeatedly questioned by family and friends about where my life was heading and why I was wasting it being a directionless nomad, but I guess they never knew that it was all those daily challenges and solo travelling lessons that, after all, helped me grow in life! So if there’s one thing I’d like to advise others seeking a change in their life, it will be taking a break from what they’re doing and TRAVEL!