I’ve been traveling the world for almost 2 years now and since that is a long period of time it’s now got to the stage where, even in hostels, I get odd looks from people when I say how long I’ve been traveling.
And I’ve started noticing a really concerning theme. After the strange looks, and stunned silence, someone inevitably chirps up with a question along the lines of;
“So you’ve just been traveling the world and haven’t worked in 2 years. Don’t you get bored?”
Just look at that question for a second. Really look at it.
What a depressing reflection of how we’re brainwashed by society. How we’ve been indoctrinated into thinking that if you don’t work, if you’re not stuck in an office sat behind a desk working all hours of the day that you will get bored. That without your life being filled up with busyness, it will be empty (even when traveling).
Hell, this even happens after a lifetime of working when people get close to retiring; they worry they’ll be bored when they no longer have work to fill their days.
But the point in life surely cannot be to just fill our days with busy work? To make sure we’re doing stuff lest we get bored for a second. Really, that can’t be it.
As I see it, the biggest gift I gave myself in saving up money to go away and travel the world doesn’t actually have anything to do with the places that has allowed me to see. Yes I have seen some incredible sights, such as Angkor Wat, Bagan and the Taj Mahal and have had some amazing experiences like learning to scuba dive in Thailand, going skydiving in Switzerland, learning Spanish, French and Indonesian and even getting to pretend to be Marty McFly for the day by hoverboarding in the Philippines. But by far the greatest thing I bought myself by saving up money to go travel is the gift of freedom. The gift of being able to literally do whatever the f**k I want everyday. The gift of, for the first time in my life, really having time and being able to use that time however I want.
People think I must get bored traveling for so long because “What are you going to do with all that free time? With those days endlessly stretching out in front of you.”
You know what you do with all that time?
Work out what you enjoy, how you want to spend your time and what you like doing each day.
When our lives are constantly busy and we’re rushing from one thing to the next we don’t have time to do this. We don’t have the time to sit still and think about what we really want to be doing. About what activates make our eyes sparkle and unable to keep the grins off our faces.
That’s what travel has given me the time to figure out. Yes I’ve been traveling the world for 2 years and no I haven’t worked in the traditional sense during that time but no I don’t get bored. I don’t get bored because I have the freedom to do wheatever it is that makes me happy, whatever it is that I really enjoy.
I don’t just endlessly see sights in different locations. Sometimes I move from place to place quickly seeing a lot of tourist sights. But other times I stay in one location for a long time and focus on doing other activities that make me happy. That is an equally important part of travel for me.
Sometimes that results in me doing things that are similar to what could be classed as work; for example I spent a lot of the last year working on my most recent book, Travel for Your Life. I also learnt to code so that I could build this website from scratch and frequently write for other publications. I do things with all the time I now have. Things that expand my mind and that I find interesting. That could be anything from a sport I want to explore, to learning the language of the country I'm in or reading a load of exciting books I've found.
So no I don’t get bored, because for me traveling the world doesn’t mean sitting on a beach sipping cocktails all day or just seeing temple after temple. It means finding out what you enjoy doing and designing your days to be exactly how you want them to be.
This is actually how excited I feel about my life
If you can’t think what that would be, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life or dislike your job but are worried you would be bored without it being there to fill up your time each day I can’t urge you to travel the world enough.
You will give yourself the greatest gift you possible could in doing so. You will buy yourself the gift of time and freedom.
Want to travel the world but have too many obstacles standing in your way? Everyone faces challenges to enable their travel dreams but you can make them happen. Find how to overcome the obstacles and what the benefits of traveling will be in my latest book Travel for Your Life which is now available on Amazon.
Hey, welcome to my site
I'm Chantell. I quit my job to travel in 2014 and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I know first hand how hard it can be to get everything in place in order to be able to travel, to know what to pack and where to go, let alone how best to go about your travels once on the road. Here I share everything I've learnt so far so you don't have to learn through as much "trial and error" as I did.
I'd love to hear about your journey, share your travel moments with #TravelForYourLife on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.