The truth of the matter is, this year went by too fast as years normally do. Now that we’re heading into the last month of 2014, we’re left wondering where all the time went, what exactly we did with ourselves, and did we actually do anything about the past year’s resolutions? I’ll be writing a ‘looking back on 2014’ post at the end of December, but I’d have to say I loved this year. It’s been on of my favorites! I also have high hopes for 2015, and look forward to seeing what kind of opportunities come our way.
The older I get the more I realize how short life is, and that makes me want to make sure I’m living it the best that I can.
“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.”
Let’s make 2015 a year of travel, shall we? Here’s why I think it’s important:
1. A change of perspective. There is no possible way of realizing how much of a bubble you grew up in and live in, until you leave that bubble. Throwing yourselves into a new culture shows you that people do things differently in life, and one way isn’t always better than another. A very unimportant example would be eating with chopsticks instead of a fork. Both work well if you know how to use them. Before Asia I could barely lift a sticky vegetable with chopsticks, and then after Asia, I felt weird…even eating salad with a fork! My food eating habits have changed forever.
2. Forcing yourself outside your comfort zone. This point goes together with the one above. Changing your life perspective by traveling means getting outside your comfort zone. Find yourself in a new land? Don’t sit inside a hotel watching tv all day, chartering tours catered to foreigners. Get out there, buy some street food, mingle with the locals, go see things off the beaten path.
3. There is no time like the present. We aren’t ever guaranteed tomorrow. As I said before, life is short. If you’ve always dreamed of doing something, make every effort to fulfill that dream. If that means you forego your daily coffee trips and monthly shopping trips, then so be it. Learn the art of minimalism, save your money, then reward yourself with what you’ve always wanted to do. Trust me, it’s worth it!
4. Fulfill your New Year’s resolutions and cross things off your bucket list. We write bucket lists and New Year’s resolutions for a reason: we want to challenge ourselves to become a well-rounded (and interesting) individual. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either list, just make sure you do what you can to cross things off them! What a great thing to look back on as the year comes to a close.
5. Have your mind blown. Travel is addicting. Travel is enticing. Travel is capturing. Wanderlust is real. My favorite part of experiencing new parts of the world the world is being able to look at it with child-like eyes by seeing things I’ve only read in storybooks. To feel wonder, amazement, and passion…that’s what it’s all about. That’s why it’s worth it.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
6. Learn new skills. If you would have told me that I’d be able to read and write Korean 4 years ago, I would have thought you lost your mind. Even still, after being out of Asia for 6 months, I love practicing my reading wherever I find an Asian store or church. It alarms me how quickly I lose the language though. I need to get back to taking my classes.
Traveling the world is beneficial in many ways, and can even help you score a job later on in life. Skills are learned even without you actively trying: communicating to people of other languages, being responsible with your things and time schedules, learning how to budget and spend money wisely, learning to capture an environment (through stories and photography), and becoming independent.
7. Establish new relationships. The relationships I made/am still making with people since being abroad have changed my life. I’ve learned that you can’t always trust people, but then I’ve also learned that if you open up to the right person, they can become some of your best friends. The best part about traveling and meeting people is that you have friends from literally all over the world! Canada, South Africa, France, Australia, and
8. Grow as a person. Travel teaches you not only about geography (which I am terrible at) but it teaches you about life, love, exploration, religion, culture, and history. You grow in knowledge while having the time of your life. What’s better than that?
If you can get the opportunity to travel in 2015…don’t hesitate. It’s so worth it!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING/BLACK FRIDAY my American friends! In celebration, I am offering 25% off anything in my Etsy shop (blog services, premade designs, or email me about something else!)! Use code BF2014. Hurry, offer only lasts until Tuesday.