Oi Gente!! (Hello friends, in Portuguese)
I HAVE MADE IT. After a super rocky flight, rocky in two aspects- one because the flight was extremely bumpy and despite being a frequent flyer I still had white knuckles after gripping my the arms of my seat, major Mrs. Iglesias moment from Bridesmaids! (minus the arrest). And two because the entertainment was SO unbelievably pants I had a choice of about 10 movies, one of which was Rocky which I’d never seen before. Now I’m usually a fan of 70’s 80’s films but I was super disappointed, mostly with how unlikable Rocky is as a character, what a meat head! He must have said ‘You know what I mean?’ At least five billion times and by the end of the film I wish it was me fighting him in the ring so I could throw a few punches at him. Anywayyyyyy. So after arriving in Rio and having a beaut new stamp on the fast-filling pages of my passport I hopped skipped and jumped into the arms of my bestie who was waiting for me in arrivals.
So here I am, on my wee little camp bed that Meggie has set up for me. I managed a solid sleep and I’m feeling pretty fresh for my first beach day today- 31 degrees! A-WOOHOO! It’s 9.00am here and I was having a little think. I was in the car with my mum yesterday on the way to the airport and I was asking her if there was anywhere she’d really like to travel too, or anywhere she’d particularly like to go. Other than pretty weekends away in Italy or France, she wasn’t too fussed and said travelling didn’t really appeal to her which is fair enough- but it got me thinking.
Why do I live to travel? What is it about travelling that drives me so crazy?
I have spoken to so many people who tell me that it doesn’t appeal to them, that they like the odd holiday but couldn’t stand backpacking or anything of the sort. That they couldn’t leave home for that long, that they couldn’t leave their friends and families for more than 3 weeks at the most. This is so fascinating to me, because the thought of spending more than two months in the same place gives me heart palpitations. There is nothing wrong with anyone’s choices as long as it suits them and makes them happy, but it’s just so interesting to hear someone elses desires that are so completely the opposite of mine. I’ll be the first to admit that I have MAJOR commitment issues, even the thought of setting up a magazine subscription or signing a phone contract has my palms sweating. It’s like a curse to me, my most feared word in the English language. Permanent. I could do something for weeks and weeks and be happy with it but as soon as someone mentions the dreaded P word I am out of there like a shot. I know that as soon as my pen hits that dotted line there is NO WAY I’m going to stick to the terms of this contract and lo and behold there I am a month later with my bags on my bag fleeing in the middle of the night (something I’ve done on more than one occasion). Much to the annoyance of my employers, my parents, MYSELF– I am a massive flight risk. This is why I knew I could never attend college or UNI, because I knew that as soon as I felt that urge to go, to explore, to have an adventure there would nothing I could do to suppress that desire and that it would grow and grow and grow until I finally allowed myself to be succumbed by it.
So I ask the question again, what is it about travelling that has such control over me? Simple, its a high.
People reach for that cigarette, that sip of alcohol, that pill- in search of one thing, a feeling above all over feelings. Something that will remove them from the mundane routine of life, and fulfil them with something better. The same goes for me with travelling. When I’ve hiked for 5 hours to reach the top of mountain and I stand at the top peering out of the wonders that lay below, I experience a buzz like no other. When I swim in warm clear seas, sink my toes into hot white sand, tread through thick compact snow, trek through the jungle, wonder through unknown markets selling exotic goods— I get this feeling of infinity. I struggle to catch my breath I’m so in awe, I’m so awake to the incredible possibilites that this life could offer me. I’m so ALIVE with sensation that I feel like I’m floating. And when I finally return home, my mind packed full of amazing stories and memories, it’s like painting a wall in your house grey that used to be a vibrant blue. Everyone is still going about their business, doing the same thing day in day out and its like someone throwing a bucket of icy water onto hot flames. It’s like being locked back in a cage after being free for so long.
The saddest thing is how often I am judged for my choices.
‘Get it all out of your system while you’re young because you won’t be doing that when you’re my age’
‘When are you going to stop living in a bubble and come back to reality’ (said by my first boyfriend, who told me I wouldn’t be able to visit ALL the places I’d spoken about)
‘Well life is alright for you isn’t it, we can’t all be so lucky’
Hearing these things makes me so sad. Where did this illusion that living within a regime is the correct way? Where did this step by step guide of how to live appropriately come from? Why should my reality be trapping myself in an unmovable concrete box, working a job that crushes the fire that burns within me? Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. I didn’t win a travel lottery, no one handed me tickets, I worked my ass off, 80 hours+ a week waitressing for minimum wage, I scrubbed pots and pans, I listened to the dull perversions of drunk men, I was ordered around by sad managers who hated their lives. I remember, age 17, working solidly for 3 months with little no days off, sitting in STA and booking my first ever ticket with my own money. My first trip, and it was the BEST money I had ever spent. If you WANT something badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. And if you don’t, then you didn’t want it badly enough.
Happiness should be the MAIN goal that every single person strives for in this lifetime. You can create your own happiness, whether that be remaining in the town you’ve always been in, marrying your school sweetheart and having kiddies. Or whether like me your happiness is created by wearing a backpack on your back and exploring the unknown. There is no RIGHT or WRONG way to life your life, as long as you living it happily.
‘A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to it’s old dimensions.’
Enjoy the day my loves