Travelling is a unique, no matter how many of us go the similar places or have similar experiences, our time and experience of travelling is always different…. It’s a personal experience that we are able to shape, mould and continue to grow from.
One of the biggest things that I think travelling has allowed me to appreciate is the diversity and differences our world has to offer and explore. That might be 4,000 miles away or right on your doorstep. When I was younger, I would regularly spin a globe (or google maps) to find the most obscure and remote places I could explore, even if that was through a Mac screen! 🙂 Travelling (even through google maps) felt like a calling to me, it allowed me to open my mind to the many amazing aspects of our world I had yet to experience, places that seemed so different to home, but as a young teenager, it felt like a million miles away… and, I suppose, unachievable.
From a very early age I knew, and recognised, that exploring made me happy. Spending hours in the woods close to my home, building (now frighteningly high) tree/rope swings and letting my imagination run wild in exploring the forest. In hindsight, this forest was very small, with only a few thousand trees, but it felt a world away from my house (which in reality was a mere 15 minutes away). This is the aspect of travel that I like most. It brings out the inner explorer in me. I never felt scared, only excitement at the prospect of what was around the next corner.
I feel very fortunate that I have been to many countries, but for me, travelling is not about number counting… Travelling isn’t a geo-pin or check-in on a Facebook account… It’s not even about using those apps that count the amount of countries you have visited (although they are very fun) 🙂 Exploring needs to be a sort of release of yourself… A mindful recognition that to explore, you should push yourself outside of your normal routine. For me, that’s keeping an open mind and challenging myself to do new things. That could be taking a rickshaw in London, instead of the bus, trying that obscure meal that you alway intend on trying, but have never gotten around to, or allowing yourself to trust your own mind and close people around you. The latter is sometimes the most fun!
From our recent posts, you may have seen that we visited Croatia. Firstly, WOW!!! What an amazing country…but more about that in our next posts. Whilst there, I had an amazing opportunity to jump into the river (from relatively ‘high’ rocks) – I volunteered in an instant but once I climbed to the top of the rocky summit, I managed to freak out… All my fears of exploring and trying new things came to a head… Why was I insisting on jumping of some rocks to be an explorer if it scared me… My rational self told me not to jump, whilst my emotional self, insisted that it was part of an experience that must be done. In truth, after lots of failed attempts, I jumped…. 🙂 🙂 🙂 It was amazing but the only reason why I truly decided to jump was my little prep-talk from Yaya who understood how I would have felt if I had chosen to not do it.
I suppose, what I am saying is that exploring is about understanding yourself and appreciating when people around you know you better than you know you! When you allow experiences to happen, pushing away your own insecurities and fears, you allow yourself to enjoy travelling much more. Obviously, some fear is healthy but in my case when I jumped from the rocks, it was unnecessary. That’s the fear I am talking about, the one that limits you to not achieving what you want. By allowing yourself to be open and much less fearful (within reason), you not only travel to places, but explore and experience much more than you could have imagined, which, all things said and done, is a much more rich and valuable experience.