I DISCOVERED WHAT TRUE INDEPENDENCE IS
After a 28 hour flight from Australia to England all I wanted to do was shower, sleep and Facebook home to let my family know that I arrived safe. What I got instead was the dreaded task of trying to navigate the London Tube and find my hostel in the rain. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was over 16,000 kms from home, I had no map and I had no working cell phone. All my reservations and fears about leaving home to explore the world on my own came flooding to the surface and I was close to tears. What had I done? What had I gotten myself into? I sat down and took a moment to pull myself together. I was in London! After lusting about seeing the places I had always dreamed of visiting I was finally here! Now I won’t say that was the only time I felt overwhelmed or craved home but it was the last time I doubted myself to not only get through this trip but enjoy ever minute of it. Since then I have missed flights and hauled up in McDonalds for hours in London trying to find a hostel that wouldn’t break the bank. I have also found myself somewhere to sleep every night in over 34 countries, navigated through countless cities and even given directions to fellow travellers in foreign countries. All this I did on my own! I didn’t have anyone to fall back on if things got hard. All I had was myself and now I know more then ever that myself is all I need!
I’VE OPENED MY EYES TO THE WORLD
Keeping up with world events and reading up on history has always been a top priority for me. However when you experience these things first hand it truly opens your eyes to the world and I realised how sheltered my life in Australia once was. I’ve seen poverty up close in Africa and I’ve travelled through Egypt where the threat of bombings are a regular occurrence. I’ve witnessed the true horrors of WWII at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland, experienced racism first hand in South Africa and I’ve had to adapt my western style clothing to respect cultural differences in several countries. All of these are first hand experiences that couldn’t possibly be taught in books and all of which have opened my eyes to a world I didn’t fully appreciate or understand before.
MY PRIORITIES HAVE CHANGED
Things that I thought were important before my travels now suddenly don’t seem so important. Where before I thought a new pair of shoes were a necessity, I am now grateful for a roof over my head, running water and food daily. The things that I undervalued are now the things I can’t value more highly - family, friendships and experiences. Why it took me to travel the world to realise I had my priorities wrong I don’t know. I am glad I did finally realise them though! Life is short. Sure it is the longest thing you will ever do but in an instant it can all be over. What matters to you? For me the important lesson I discovered was realising that I didn’t want a life where I lived to work. I want a life where I work to live. I want to climb Machu Picchu, I want to cruise through the Middle East but most of all I want someone to share these adventures with. I want a partner in life and I want to build a family one day. I want to enjoy quality time with my family and I realised trading in my corporate lifestyle for the experience to travel the world was the best choice I’ve ever made.
I’VE MATURED BEYOND MY YEARS
Your 20’s are an integral time for self discovery and I truly feel there is no better way to grow emotionally then through travel. After experiencing the culture and history first hand that I’d only read about in books how could it not change me? I’m more aware of the world. I’ve grown into myself to a point I am completely content with who I am. I have taken the time to discover what I want out of life and I have a vision for my future. Every experience in life changes you. When you travel it simply speeds up the process!
I’VE NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD TO BE AUSTRALIAN
Travelling the world I have never been more thankful or proud to be Australian then I am now. I was no longer in countries where clean water, free healthcare and suitable living conditions were an expectation opposed to a dream. In Australia I took for granted being able to walk around cities alone because the threat of kidnappings and racial killings was a one in a million chance of occurrence instead of daily normality. I am proud to be Australian! I am proud of the country we have built where everyone is tolerated and welcomed regardless of race, religion or political differences. I am proud to live in a country where the threat of internal and external terrorism is minimal and I am proud to live in a country where we have sound infrastructure, education and employment opportunities. Most of all I’m thankful to live in a country where I feel safe. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie... Oi, Oi, Oi!