Lately I have been having many conflicted feelings about what it is I truly want out of life. It got me thinking about the ways travelling has changed my priorities . I’ve always been one to follow my heart and always acted on impulse. I read an article the other day that resonated with me more than anything I’ve read before. It basically said that if you really wanted something you would have it. If you are not willing to give up everything, to pour your heart and soul into what it is you think you want it means you don’t really want it. Travelling is something that I have always been passionate about.
I wanted more than anything to travel. To pack up my stuff, leave home and travel as far and as wide as I could. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those negative people who was fed up with South Africa and just wanted to get out, on the contrary it’s quite the opposite. I’m extremely patriotic! I love South Africa, it’s my home and I’m proud of where I come from. But for me it was about getting out and seeing more of the world. Growing up I was fortunate enough to travel with my parents. I had a taste of the travel life and I wanted more. Feeling like every day was just the same, I felt stuck and tied down. I am not one for routine and I was feeling very restless. This is why I decided to put into words the ways travelling has my priorities, after finally taking the chance to follow mu heart.
This year my boyfriend and I made the decision to quit our jobs and we moved with one suitcase each to London. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and that we would miss everyone back home like crazy but we figured if we didn’t do it now we probably never would. We are very fortunate in that we both have British passports so it was easy for us. No paper work, no jobs, nothing needed, we could just pack up and leave. Our motivation was to travel and London is a great base for that.
Now 6 months later and having visited 7 countries I absolutely cannot wait to go home! I am fantasising about it daily, I am even putting going home ahead of a ski trip to France. Ahead of travelling to new countries, the sole purpose I left home in the first place! Crazy right? Your dreams and your passions can change in a matter of minutes. Now I realise that these thoughts may be slightly premature as I haven’t been away for too long and home sickness is a real thing but it did make me think about the ways travelling has changed my priorities in a few short months.
Everyone back home knows that I wanted nothing more than to travel but now that I’m doing that I want nothing more than to be at home! I sound crazy right, confused, like I will never be happy, maybe even ungrateful. But then it dawned on me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me! I’m spreading my wings and learning what it is that truly matters to me and what it is that I want. Had I never followed my heart I might never have found it. Don’t get me wrong I’m still extremely wanderlust and nothing changes my desire to travel but I’ve also learnt to appreciate what I have at home and I’m learning what it is that truly matters in life.
7 Ways that travelling has changed my priorities
1. Given the choice I would love to be based in South Africa and travelling as frequently as we are now but I also know that would not be possible at this stage of our lives. The truth is being based in London opens a lot more opportunities to us than we would have back home.
2. I’ve realised how important my family is to me. This one is crazy because they’ve always been important to me and we’ve always been exceptionally close. My parents and brother are such a big part of my life back home so truthfully, I don’t even know how I made the decision to leave. The encouragement and support from my family is so important and something I appreciate more than ever. I used to take for granted the fact that they allow me to follow my heart with no judgement or worry but now I see just how valuable that unfaltering support is. This is one of the most valuable ways that travelling has changed my priorities.
3. I’ve realised that friends are EVERYTHING! We have a really tight group of friends back home, so again I don’t know how I made the decision to leave. The recent engagement of two of our best friends means there are some big changes that we are missing out on but we know that when we return home nothing in our friendship would have changed. It’s so important to nurture our friendships and not take our friends for granted. Our friends are making plans to visit us abroad frequently and without their love and support this move would have been so much harder!
4. I’ve realised that I don’t enjoy working lol! Now I know most people don’t but I went from job to job thinking I was going to find something different, that I was going to find something I really enjoyed doing, each time thinking I would finally find a job that I absolutely loved! Now having had quite a few experiences I’ve finally realised that the problem is me, not the job. Let me clarify though – Being home all day everyday with nothing to do would be boring. When I say I don’t like working, I mean working for a corporation, working for a boss! Living in a daily routine isn’t for me. I’ve realised that I would like to start my own business, be self-employed and work in an industry that I am passionate about like yoga, fitness or travel. This is one of the most important ways that travelling has changed my priorities.
5. I’ve realised that what I was running away from was a job. Living the working 9 – 5 life, coming home and doing it all again the next day. Just living for the weekends. But travelling has made me realise that this is not the way it has to be. Once my restless soul has settled and I decide that I want a ‘normal’ life again I will still never be happy sitting in an office all day. I need to take the necessary actions to ensure that I get what I want. No one is going to hand it to me on a silver platter. “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny”.
6. I’ve realised that I never spent enough time enjoying the moment. I fantasised so much about the future, about travelling that I could never have been 100% in the present moment. If our mind is constantly on what we want to do tomorrow, or in the next week, month or year we miss out on the here and now. Travelling makes you stop and enjoy the moment, it allows us to take in the beauty around us and enriches our soul.
7. I’ve realised how important experiences are, how utterly important it is to try new things! If you just stay in the same place or in the same situation how will you ever know what you truly want or what your passions are. Some people are quite happy where they are and know their purpose from a very young age. But for the rest of us trying to figure out what we want it is so important to try new things! Take that giant leap of faith and do things that seem absolutely crazy. If you don’t try new things, if you don’t become vulnerable and put yourself out there you are never going to know! It’s going to be scary, it’s going to be unpredictable and crazy but it will be WORTH IT! Travelling has changed my priorities in ways that can change the course of my life.
To drop everything and travel the world is the BEST decision I’ve ever made. Travelling has taught me things about myself that I might otherwise never have known, shown me what I truly value. It’s made me appreciate things that I used to take for granted, opened my eyes to new horizons and shown me what it is that is truly important to me and it’s opened my heart to the world.
Travelling has changed my priorities in ways that I never could have imagined. Had I not taken this big step would I ever know what I truly wanted? Would I ever truly value what I have? I don’t know but I do know that I would’ve regretted not doing it for the rest of my life. Travelling puts everything in perspective and makes you value LIFE!