So for those of you who don’t know me, almost a year ago I started planning to leave behind my life of luxury and live a simple life travelling the world.
If you’ve been thinking about it too, here are 14 reasons why you should take the plunge and book those plane tickets!
(I couldn’t leave it at 13 after being traumatised by 13 Reasons Why)
1. It opens your eyes like you’d never imagine.
You have the time to go to places where other tourists don’t, where nobody speaks your language and where you can’t find your way around. You get to see how people really live – their struggles, their faith and how they eat their food (mainly spicy and with their hands. Even rice.)
2. You get to meet amazing people with amazing stories
In hotels or on holiday, you might meet one or two people. Travelling for a long period of time and staying in hostels enables you to meet so many new people from all different walks of life, each with their own stories. With social media you get to keep in touch with them forever and follow their journeys around the world. We used to hate people talking to us on holiday but it makes such a big difference when you’re actually travelling. It’s really lovely to meet new people.
3. It’s SO much more fun than working
Imagine being able to get up whenever you want, go to bed whenever you want, get drunk whenever you want…nothing matters when you’re travelling as long as you’re safe, healthy and happy. Every day is the weekend – I hardly ever know what day it is and usually have to check on my phone every couple of days to make sure we haven’t missed anything important.
4. It really expands your comfort zone
I have done things I never would have imagined before I came travelling. I am so much more confident, independent and fearless than before. I’m even talking about learning to surf!
5. You don’t have to answer to anybody but yourself
Society has a silent but deadly way of controlling us and suggesting how we should act and live our lives. These boundaries don’t exist when you’re travelling – backpacking encourages free spirit and inconformity.
6. You realise what’s really important to you and rely less on material things
When you’re living on a tight budget with all your possessions in your backpack, consumerism isn’t really an option. You can’t afford to just throw stuff away and you don’t have the room to buy stuff you don’t need. It’s so refreshingly simple. I haven’t worn makeup since I left the UK and I’m finally starting to actually like the way I look for the first time in my life.
7. Memories matter
I always think that when I’m on my deathbed, I’ll want to look back on all the fantastic things I’ve done in my life with a smile. Owning a house and having fancy cars is great for some people, but it didn’t make me happy. If you feel the same, don’t look back in 50 years time with regret.
8. You get to try so many delicious foods
No matter how good you are at cooking, or how cultured you are, you just can’t get some ingredients back home and international food still has a western edge! Travelling allows you to try so many new and delicious foods (btw Chinese food does not taste like it does from Happy Garden. It has eyeballs. Lots of eyeballs.) You’ll probably become immune to spicy food, too – brucey bonus!
9. You can so easily lose weight!
Your lack of income, the hot weather and the inability to find good crisps makes it SO easy to eat healthily and wholesomely. I always feel full after a meal and I hardly ever snack anymore. I used to constantly eat out of boredom, but now I’m never bored and I have a much healthier relationship with food. You’re also much more active as you’re not sat at a desk all day, and you can’t afford to drive (or afford to risk your life driving), so you have to walk everywhere. We exceed 10,000 steps almost every day, often doing more than 15 or 20,000.
10. You have so much freedom and flexibility
You can extend your stay in certain places, get the hell outta some and just really live in the moment. Conventional life offers very little autonomy or opportunities to just ‘be’ in the present – something I didn’t really realise until those shackles were released.
11. Money goes so much further abroad
It’s so easy to live on a small budget – in most countries you can easily manage on £20 a day including accommodation and all your spending money. If you sell your house and possessions like we did, that profit goes a LONG way in countries where £1 is worth 1,000s in the local currency. Travelling means you’re no longer a slave to money, working to pay bills whilst not being able to afford to actually enjoy your life.
12. The 5:2 ratio really isn’t fair
When you think about it, when you really think about it, working 5 days for 2 off or working 260 week days for 20-30 days of ‘annual leave’ really isn’t fair. It seems crazy to me that you would live your life to work and give more time to an organisation you probably don’t care about than to yourself!
13. You can do things you could never do otherwise
I’m doing a month long yoga course in January (200 hours YTT) and if I were working I’d never be able to do it. I couldn’t take a month off all at once, and even if I could that would mean having no more holidays from work for the rest of the year, let alone actual holidays. It would also cost so much more as I’d book online from the UK (heads up guys, we get ripped off) and I’d also have to pay for flights.
14. If you’re even thinking about it just a little bit – just do it.
Yes it’s scary, yes unconventional, but so is being happy! You can buy a new house and get a new job again in the future if that’s what’s right for you again some time. If you don’t like it, you can always come home. It’s much better to try something and not like it than to regret never even bothering.
Ready to book your trip?
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With best wishes,