I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written this post and then deleted it.
First, I was going to write about all the beautiful things to do and see in one of my favorite cities in the world: Sevilla Spain. Which is the city that started it all for me in 2009 when I studied abroad for the first time.
But then I saw this video…(below)
And I was inspired to share how I feel about traveling. You guys are constantly asking me how I built up the courage to quit my job, and walk half way across Spain, and then travel some more. So here it is…
The truth is, when I first studied aboard, and traveled alone, I felt a lot different about traveling then. Maybe because I was younger? More naive? Who knows. I felt like I had so much time and eventually I would see it all when I got older. After I finished school, worked for a couple of years, found a partner, and then bought a house, etc. (like the way it’s suppose to be) All the while, I’d be saving all this money to travel here and there. I mean I had a different understanding of how I wanted to travel then. I was a ‘kid in a candy store’. Where I was so excited to get out there, but too excited to appreciate what was actually happening or be aware of it.
See as I continued to travel and actually stop and watch sunsets, and have conversations with older people. I noticed that I was really starting to appreciate what was actually happening. I started to fall in love.
When I was working in New York City I was stuck in this routine. In this comfort zone. It scared me! What I love about traveling is that you never really know what you’re getting into. Yes, you can have a full itinerary planned from eight in the morning to eight at night, but shit happens. So you learn to appreciate it, good or bad.
One morning in Spain (this was years ago when I went back to Sevilla to visit), I was sitting on some steps in front of a church, alone, on a random street and I had a conversation with a stranger, who happened to be an old man.
He told me he was 86 and sick, but he was really 18 and happy. He said that if he was going to die tomorrow, he can truly say he lived each day like he was 18. He told me that, no matter what happens in life, I should always try to appreciate it all and live like I was younger than I really was. Because there is a beauty in living young(I was 22 at the time).
The memory of that moment stuck with me. Maybe it was because at that point in my life I was going through things. I mean, I don’t know, but I know it stuck.
And let me make it clear, that changing your routine could be anything! Changing any little thing in your life could help you become ‘aware’. I am just a little bit more extreme. I want to be aware of everything. I want to do shit that scares me. Forces me to taste life. Get me?
I am very thankful to be where I am today. I am happy! But I want to reach 86 years of life (or 100) and know that I was aware, awake, happy, sad, loved, and that I made a difference in people’s lives, and saw the world. I want to be the true definition of ‘living life’.
Like that old man said to me, appreciate it all because there is a beauty in being young. Maybe it’s because when you’re young you’re more naive? More awake? Like I said before, I was a ‘kid in a candy store’. I had a different idea of traveling. I had different perception of what my life was going to look like at 26. The experiences have changed me.
My friend Jack from Titanic once said…(haha)
“I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen or who I’m gonna meet, where I’m gonna wind up.”
And I couldn’t agree more.
So back to the real question, how do I built up the courage to travel and live in other countries? I just do. I like to do things that scare the crap out of me. Make me feel alive and aware of each day. And traveling has done that to me.
And honestly, why the hell not?! 😉
Special thanks for the inspiration (video below).
Where ever you are, thank you!
Ps- If you don’t have the Periscope App you should all download it ASAP (and add me @socialgirltraveler)! I will broadcast, LIVE, all my adventures where ever I am in the world.
Also, I’ll be sharing my next adventure soon! 😉