Some people save up for retirement. I save up to explore a foreign city every four months or so. It’s probably not very wise, considering the doomsday news that constantly surround the trends of the global economy, but how can I help it when there’s so much of this world left to explore?
I’m always in search for an escape
Like the escapist that I am, I get extremely antsy when I’m stuck in one place for too long. Not more than a few months will pass by before I start planning for another getaway, and I’ve been known to plan one right after I’ve come back home from the previous travel excursion I took. And yeah, it’s not great on the bank account, but when you really want something, you’ll find some way to make do. If that means drastically decreasing the amount of times you eat out in a month, or staying home more often in order to save up on fuel, they’re merely small sacrifices in the grand scheme of things.
In this case, a few days of bliss, away from responsibilities and expectations that your shoulders carry on a daily basis.
I crave new experiences
The first adventure I can remember having happened when I was little more than seven years old, on a mission to find my own story in this humongous world. Tired of my parents constantly forgetting to buy me the stationery I so desperately needed for school, I decided to venture to the nearest convenience store from my home on a whim. My younger sister, barely five at the time, was my willing accomplice (I’d bribed her with promises of snacks). I’d rebelled against my poor caretaker in order to carry out this reckless adventure. I’m not sure she’ll ever forgive me (I don’t blame her), as the store was twenty minutes away by foot, and we had to cross a busy road in order to reach it.
It was risky, and a terrifying concept for a seven year old to grasp, but. The gratifying feeling of having reached your destination, that freedom of exploring the world around you; that is what I search for when I travel.
I need to be lost and untethered sometimes
As jaded and cynical as I can appear to be, there’s still a romantic streak that resides in me, born of fairy tales read late into the night and the constant need to find the next great adventure. There are moments when I feel suffocated and too grounded by the regular and the mundane trappings of day to day living. And when I travel, I live for the precious hours where I’m surrounded by unfamiliar faces and streets that meander into shops hiding unknown treasures. Sometimes, it just means sitting by the window of some coffee shop and watching people pass by for hours on end.
I discover a new part of myself every time
Some people collect stamps, I collect postcards. Some people travel to eat exotic food, I travel to get a stamp on my passport and some more Polaroid photos in my travel logbook. Each trip I’ve taken ever since I started realizing how addicted I was to travelling, I’ve found out something about myself that I hadn’t realized before. Like how incredibly horrible I am with directions. Or the way taking a bus in a different country is actually sort of relaxing for me. Or how my best stories and poems come from just sitting in a café and stewing in my thoughts.
However, my greatest discovery is probably learning how great I am at finding a fantastic bargain when it comes to clothes and accessories.
I learn to be more resourceful
It wasn’t until I started travelling solo that I’d discovered just how much goes into planning a trip, and I’m glad for the numerous mistakes I’ve made during those first few trips. From the twelve hour bus ride across California from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and the time I took the train in the completely opposite direction in Seoul and didn’t realise until ten stops later. These mistakes helped me to plan better for my next getaways, and remind me to stay vigilant even in the midst of my escape. Of course, Google Maps was pretty much a life saver in nearly all of these situations, but I’d learned to look out for cheap airfare, accommodations and attractions that won’t make me have a mini heart attack at their prices.