All my life I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to travel.
When I was a kid, my Mum and Dad took me and my sister to Corfu, Wales, Florida, Menorca, Belgium and France. When we got a little older, we went to Italy, Scotland, Cornwall, The Lake District. Then, when I was able to go it alone, I’ve ventured to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Ibiza, Nepal, New York, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
Travel is in my blood. And I know how lucky I am to have seen so many wonderful places.
But, it’s because I make travel a priority in life. I need to travel. I need to see, and to be in, new places.
Because if I don’t have that experience, I feel like I’m going stale.
I felt it towards the end of last year. I’d been to Ibiza in May and then Brussels and Northumberland in June. But then, I had nothing. 6 months of no travel. GET THE SMALL VIOLIN OUT GUYS. I know that sounds incredibly spoilt, right?
6 months for me was a long time though. That stint of no travel was for a few reasons. I didn’t really have the time. Changing jobs meant I had less days of annual leave. I also wanted to focus my energy on saving some money. I went against all my usual impulses to book a flight, and I stayed put. And my money stayed in the bank instead of being spent on travel.
It was good for my bank, but for my mind and wellbeing? Nope, it didn’t do me any good at all. It made me miserable. Even though I didn’t notice it as the time, everything that was going a bit wrong – I wasn’t enjoying my job at the time – just seemed amplified.
And I’ve only just noticed the effect it had on me. Recently, I’ve booked in mini adventures to Berlin, London, and The Lake District and pretty much immediately, I’ve got something to aim for. Work isn’t so bad and I’m more focussed. I’m excited to see somewhere new – Leeds, I love ya but you’re so familiar – and experience a different environment.
Yes, there might be other things that contributed to this uplift in my mental mood but I honestly think it’s down to having an adventure to look forward to. I know I can’t afford a trip abroad every month, but having key places to visit locked down in my diary makes things a little easier. And that’s why I need to travel. Because I reckon I would be really miserable without it.
Does anyone else feel this way? I’m aware I’m highly privileged to be able to travel. I have my health, I’m able to afford it to an extent, and I’m easily allowed to visit more places in the world. But, I need to travel for me. Other people buy clothes, or dine out several nights a week. For me, adventure is the key to unlocking a happier and more fulfilling life. What do you think?