Preparation for travel goes far
beyond just packing up a few bags to take
with you. There are all the things that go
into planning a trip, making sure your visa
is in order, having enough money put away,
ect. But how does one truly prepare for longer
term travel? It’s both an exciting and difficult thing to do.
I look around the now bare walls of my room and remember all the things that use to hang on them. The action figures, posters, and other collectible trinkets. Things that were cool, but overall pretty meaningless in the long term outlook. They represented things I liked and was into, both currently and in an older time, but they didn’t do much in showing who I was. Perhaps that’s why I had such an easy time cutting ties to those things and selling most of ‘em. Sure it sucked thinking that one day I wouldn’t have as many old action figures to give to my kid, but rather I was trading those for stories and lessons I could teach him one day instead.
It seems like when you prepare to go abroad for a long period of time you have to under go an odd transformation. At least I did. You look around and realize that you won’t be seeing the things your familiar with, or be around the people that you’re use to interacting with on the daily. For a brief time that can be scary.
You begin to rid yourself of baggage that is holding you back from your travel. Selling things, perhaps isolating yourself because you don’t want to face the reality of not seeing your loved ones for so long. Maybe you even feel guilty you won’t be seeing then for such a long time, like your somehow betraying a relationship. These are all just bumps in preparing for the future though.
Seeing things in a far away place are far from the only things that happen when you travel. You grow, learn and broaden your horizons. It’s the times in your life when you come into yourself unlike any other time.Now perhaps this stems from having to be more independent and responsible. Because traveling is no easy process. It requires you to stay on your game. To manage your hostels, figuring out how to navigate a new city. Or how effectively see a city for your budget. It changes you as a person, even if you didn’t mean for it to. But that’s one of the beautiful things about travel, that growth.
This preparation can be a fickle sort of thing though. Often times through the process I even second guess myself. Wondering if this is the wisest thing to be spending money on, or if there is something more “responsible” and acceptable that I should be striving to do. I wonder if I’m not just being some foolish 20 year old kid chasing silly dreams.
Then I think of the alternatives. Think of the things I could rather be doing. Saving for a car, maybe start paying back some student loans earlier then I need to, get a real job. But I couldn’t bring myself to betray myself like that. For I’m capable of traveling now, and in a time of my life that allows me to. Where as I don’t know if I’d be able to later. I also know I’d hate myself for the rest of my life if I didn’t take these opportunities now.
So I’m taking them. Taking the leap. Being bold and proactive. The future is the future. Something to be aware of, but not something to keep inactive and petrified over. So things will move forward, and this dream will continue to evolve, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.