As I’m writing this I am sitting in a lounge in Dubai airport, transiting between Bahrain and Australia. I love travelling. A lot. I can’t say I love sitting in planes on long flights or long transits, but each of them is also an experience that money just can’t buy. The people I meet, random strangers I strike up conversations and develop friendships with are priceless.
I’ve been blessed to visit many countries many times, and I definitely have wanderlust. (a strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world) Travel doesn’t only have to mean holidays though, it can mean relocating or moving to another town, state or country. Once many years ago I bought a hotel on a whim and moved 300 kilometres to a different town. Everyone thought I was mad. I was, but it was an adventure and I learnt so much!
After selling the hotel, I made a phone call and 2 days later I had relocated to the very north of Australia to Darwin for what was meant to be 24 days, but turned into 2 years. I would like to add that those were the BEST 2 years of my career – ever. After returning home I met the man of my dreams and 17 days later I was asked to return to Darwin for 6 months, which I did, with him. He left his job and we packed up and went. Why not? My friends and family were somewhat concerned, after all, we had JUST met. My thinking and reply to their well meaning concerns was that there were planes and if he didn’t like it or if it didn’t work out, he could come back. He didn’t, we loved it and are now happily married and madly in love 6.5 years later.
You can imagine their surprise when we announced after 3 months that we were moving again – this time to Ghana in West Africa. For a year. With no plans. It was his home country and I wanted to experience his culture. Why not? My thinking again was that if I didn’t like it, I would simply come home. We stayed a year to the day. That year was the most wonderful, challenging, button-pushing, happy and life-changing year of my life. I am going to write a book about it, as because of that year, I changed everything about my life, work and how I am in the world. That’s for another day though.
I’ve just spent two wonderful weeks in Bahrain as my regular readers would know. Where is Bahrain? Smack between Iran and Iraq, right next door to Saudi Arabia. I loved it. So much so that I am planning a return trip next month and looking at the possibility of a long term proposition there. Why not? What have I got to lose? If I don’t like it, I’ll do something else.
I often travel for holidays, and go to Bali a lot, and plan to stay long term one day very soon too. Friends are often telling me I’m brave. I don’t think I’m brave. At all. I think I’m living life to the fullest, enjoying every day and embracing opportunities as they present. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?
Some people say they can’t afford to travel. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive but I can tell you that every single cent you spend is a fantastic investment in yourself. These days flights are cheap as chips and you can get great accommodation for just a few dollars. If money is tight, put aside something each week. Take your lunch to work, skip that extra pair of shoes, make coffee at home, it all adds up. Trust me, it will be the best investment you have ever made in you; your mind, body, education, attitude, your everything. If you think you can’t afford it, and are up for an adventure, check out companies recruiting ex-pats, there are lots and many wonderful opportunities await those who are ready to take the step.
My next trip is looking to be back to Bahrain next month, then 4 weeks in Bali in June and who knows from there, definitely another Bahrain trip before the end of the year and most likely another Bali trip in October. I’m not rich, in fact in terms of material possessions at this point in my life I’ve never had less, but I feel richer than ever. We live a simple life, are debt free and we never want for anything. But there is nothing better than grabbing our passports, locking the door and heading off to adventures in places far and wide.
Don’t wait. Do it now. Life is short and you never know what’s around the corner. There are places you need to see, people you must meet, experiences to be had and wonderful foods to taste. Grab life by the balls and go for it!! You’ll be glad you did. I promise.