Earlier this spring (2017), my travel bug struck again (but what's new?) so I ended my summer with a bang and visited 7 countries over the span of two weeks (thanks Contiki).
Places I went:
England, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and Iceland.
Comments I received:
I’m living vicariously through you!
You’re so lucky...
I wish I could do what you’re doing.
You're my life is goals!
I'd like to clarify a few things...
No, I’m not ‘lucky.' I have worked incredibly hard to create a life and a reality that I love. I decided I wanted travel to be a part of my life, so I worked 3 (sometimes 4) jobs simultaneously, saved far more money than I ever spent, only went out to happy hour once per week to save cash, all with the intentions of putting my money towards travel.
None of of the 23 countries I've seen so far were due to luck, none of it was handed to me, and I did it all while independently paying my college tuition, rent, and car payments.
Here's the good news: since it wasn't luck, that means anyone can do it!
You can do what I’m doing! Anyone can pick up an extra shift or an extra job to earn the funds for a trip. Anyone can open a new savings account and consistently set aside money for an adventure. Anyone can swallow their fear, leave their comfort zone, book a flight, apply for a visa, reserve accommodations, and just go!
I know I'm very fortunate to have seen as much as I have in my 21 years, and I'm not trying to make it sound like I'm ungrateful, but I just see a trend these days in people making themselves the victims of their own life choices.
Only you are in control of your life. You are the only person that has a say in what you do every single day, where you spend your time, how you spend your money, and how happy you get to be.
What about the job that you hate but you have to do to pay the bills? What about not having enough vacation days, or being restricted by a class schedule? What about a disability, illness, or physical impairment? What about the life circumstances that are beyond your control?
Here's something that's never beyond your control: your response.
They say life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it...
well I say life is .5% what happens to you, 99.5% how you react to it.
You get to decide how you feel day in and day out, you get to decide how far and wide you travel this year, you get to choose how many stamps end up in your passport, you are the only person responsible for and capable of making your reality something you love, something that makes you excited to wake up every morning.
I hope that when other people see my experiences they feel empowered to go out and see the world for themselves, not envious or defeated. I share lots of photos and videos (check out my paragliding footage from this European trip if you haven't already!!!) for my family and friends back home, mostly so that they know I'm alive while I'm gone, but my prayer is that this doesn't trigger jealousy. Instead, I want my life to be inspiring and motivating, because anyone can do this, and it's all up to you.
You can do what I'm doing, I promise. If you want advice on how to plan a trip, how to save the money, how to navigate a foreign place, how to get out and GO... please don't hesitate to ask me! I'd love to help you take an adventure, leave your comfort zone, and experience something new. Just comment below.
"we must go and see for ourselves."