I love travelling. It makes up such a large part of my life.
I came to the concept a little later than most white middle class kids from my city – most at least fanaticised about a glorious gap year travelling around South East Asia to find themselves, even if they never actually executed on the idea. But not me, I’ve always been very goal oriented. I knew what I wanted to study at university, and I knew the kind of job I wanted once I had earned my degree. No time for fun. Invest the time now, and I can fun later.
While that approach certainly helped me with my career, I really wish I’d been easier on myself (on everything really, there’s a theme emerging when I think about the best bits about being 30!). As it happened, I spent a month travelling the UK / France / Italy before starting my first grown-up, graduate role, but I doubt I would’ve done it if I’d had more time off between my final exams and starting the new job.
As I type this, I’m sitting in an airport with my takeaway coffee (black, of course), while I wait for my connecting flight to board. As I type this, my approach to travel is so, completely different.
The internet once said… travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.
And I totally agree with the sentiment, even though it’s factually incorrect. (Hello books… bonds…).
I’ve done a lot of travel now.
To a lot of different places.
In a lot of different ways… Budget overnight trains in Europe, city hopping in Japan, ferries to Scandinavia, mini bus through the Baltics. Not all were done solo, and – honestly – not all were easy, but I learned something new from everything.
A key thing I’ve learned is that travelling isn’t just the act of travel. It’s the eating, the wandering, the ‘killing time’ between museum tours and hotel check ins. Travelling is everything you do while away from home. What you do to survive, what you do to entertain, and what you do to interact with literally anyone you meet along the way. And in that sense, it’s all new.
That ’something new’ is the real draw-card. That is what pulls me into travelling. That’s what makes the act of travel worth it.
And this is what I’m trying to remind myself now. After 2x 12 hour flights to get me from London to Auckland – literally the other side of the world – and while I wait for my third and final flight. I’m headed home to see family. To see my friends.
I’ve definitely been here before. I lived and breathed it for 25+ years. But coming back now, there’s going to be ‘something new’.
There’s always something new.
And I can’t wait to see what that is.