Are you a tourist or a traveller?
Many people put travelling as a luxury which they will achieve in the future as a form of deferred gratification. Here is my issue with that:
a) Ill health when I am older
b) No family or friends to travel with
c) Not as adventurous to try new things
Why not live life in the moment to the fullest? It is important to work, earn and make a living. However, life is so uncertain that many of us fail to live everyday instead rather conform to a set routine.
Disclaimer: That is totally cool too and if you are happy with that kudos to you as you need not continue this opinionated article. If you are open to new ideas, carry on reading......
When we are young, we are told to work hard and save for rainy days. That is good practice as long as it is done in a sustainable manner. Life in your own cocoon is such a shame as you miss out on the beauty the rest of the world has to offer. We humans tend to get used to our comfort zone such as having family and friends available, a stable job, safe environment as well as our routine lifestyle that is tried and tested. This makes us lazy and less willing to try new things. It is true that as we age and go through the circle of life, we tend to do what is expected of us.
Go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, have grand kids and then what?
Life is never designed to be this boring actually. We have to constantly innovate and challenge ourselves to keep learning. Only through experiences outside the classroom, we shall discover more about ourselves. It is key we learn about other cultures, their history, food, language, way of life, social norms and various more factors. No YouTube video or school textbook will ever suffice. Spin the globe, pack your bags and get your a** moving!
Last year, I challenged myself to practise what I preach. After all, giving advice is free but acting upon it is priceless. So, I told my parents I am going travelling SOLO. They vehemently disagreed with my idea. They thought it was absurd someone would want to go somewhere else but home all alone. The thing about stubborn me is that I am very steadfast on my goals in life that when I set myself to do something, I go in with all my heart and mind.
That was when I decided that I needed some proper ME time. One look at the map, the first of many destinations was Perhentian Kecil, Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. Next thing you know I kissed my parents au revoir and took the flight to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. There, I made friends with a local and he brought me to sample some of the local cuisines which were really delicious. Then, I boarded the speed boat as that is the only way to get to the island. I checked into my resort and just took a sigh of relief!
I actually made it happen, my first ever solo trip. The freedom to do what you want, when you want was truly the only luxury I wanted. No iPhone X or Prada handbag could give you that sensation. The views were magnificent as I lived right next to the beach. The next few days was spent eating, drinking and being merry at my pace without any annoying tour guide who just wants our money. Words can only describe so much until you experience it for yourself. Everyone becomes your friend, you try all kinds of food, walk and explore places, learn about local culture and even reflect on life. This was to be the start of a new beginning to discovering myself in a "Eat, Pray, Love" style approach.
Many more adventures occurred over the next few months which even took me halfway around the world as I started doing international travels too. Join me on my next article where I shall share those escapade!