I began my world travel journey 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 your world travels have been going on for 2 years now and you haven’t worked in that time. 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 in Siem Reap Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar and the Taj Mahal in India 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 (so many incredible islands 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 world 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.
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 enough to embark on your own world travel adventure now.
You will give yourself the greatest gift you possible could in doing so.
You will buy yourself the gift of time and freedom.
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