Was it worth the money you spent? Was it worth quitting your job for? Was it worth having to start ‘all over again’?
It’s Monday, I’m home in London and I’m unemployed.
In the last four months I have watched beautiful sunsets over horizons and mountains. I’ve swam next to Whale Sharks and turtles and explored the inside of one of the biggest caves in the world.
I’ve selfie’d in front of beautiful viewpoints and took in sights that are postcard worthy.
I exposed myself to the horror of a ping pong show and drank from coconuts and cups made of bamboo shoots.
I rode a bus through the borders of countries. I made new friends and missed old ones, sat listening in awe to some amazing stories, fascinated by the lives of people I barely know.
I fell in love with the feeling of the warm sand between my toes and the lazy afternoons spent reading books and sleeping in hammocks.
Ive woke up startled in the early hours to the alarms of rooster cries and have slept in shacks barely roofed, similar to the locals homes.
I flushed toilets using buckets of water and slept in a bed too small to fit my feet in. Spent many a nights on cramped sleeper buses too, all part of the appreciation for what I have at home.
I looked into the eyes of a Tarsier, one of the worlds most unique of creatures. Had my toes nibbled as I swam in a lake. Caught and ate a giant tuna and indulged on the flavour of barracuda steak. I enjoyed the absence of my phone, embracing the beauty of the world around me.
My pasty skin has suffered hundreds of mosquito bites, attacks by mysterious insects, cuts, grazes and some serious sunburn.
I found myself caught in a tropical thunderstorm and danced freely in the pouring rain.
I experimented with worldly food, sometimes contracting bugs and sickness. I lost weight and gained weight. Starved myself for days to rid my body of food poisoning. Gorged for days on unhealthy carbs.
I quad biked around white sand dunes, was taken downstream by the current of a river and have laughed so hard I almost wee’d myself.
I have tasted the sweetness of raw sugar cane and have experimented with many different types of cheap Asian beer.
I hesitated to ride the roof of a jeepney, only for it to be one of my travel highlights in Asia.
Ive experienced a strange Thai massage in Bangkok that I’ll remember for years to come.
I slid from the top of rocks and jumped feet first through waterfalls.
Walked through prisons where thousands of people were tortured and educated myself on shocking historical events.
I shared food with kind locals on a ferry, climbed hills and dangerous pathways, trekked kilometres through stones and mud in only my flip flops and stumped my toe numerous times on bricks in the road.
I revelled in the free time to reflect, without being interrupted by lack of time or chores for the day. I witnessed the most breathtaking of sceneries.
I partied in the middle of a jungle and spent Christmas dancing on a beach covered in glow paint. I drank buckets until I could no longer stand and have felt the buzz of pure red bull. I’ve lived high on life.
I’ve felt lucky and thankful everyday for what I was born into. I’ve witnessed people live in poverty yet still find the strength to smile and appreciate life.
I walked through sand that glitters, cut my feet on the ridges of coral and shuffled on my bum through the Cu Chi tunnels.
I washed frequently in freezing water and experienced adrenaline on the back of a motorbike. I’ve roamed freely with no plan of action, visited world heritage sites, dined in the dark and zip lined from a lighthouse. Swam in waters so clear that I could see starfish at the bottom.Sunbathed on the most blissful of beaches.
I felt unsafe in the heart of a city and played chicken on the craziest of roads. Touched my hand over the carvings of temples hundreds of years old and climbed up giant statues.
I came face to face with tigers, fed and bathed a baby elephant, floated in a pool of mud in a dark cave and bamboo rafted down a flowing river.
I hustled and bustled through street markets and haggled until blue in the face. Purchased clothing on stalls for under a pound, learnt the basics of a few languages and interacted with those from all walks of life.
I have soaked in the culture of 7 different countries and share some of my best memories with people that I only know the names of. I have learnt a great deal about life and a greater deal about myself.
In answer to the questions above I say yes 100%.
Why travel you ask?
‘Because travel is the only thing you buy that’s makes you richer’.