My friends call me a travel snob. Now I'd like to think I'm not snobby but who knows... I'm the person that gets annoyed when people don't know how to properly do airport security (i.e.: DONT put your life back together as your bins come down the conveyor belt. NO. STOP. THATS WHAT THE TABLES AND CHAIRS ARE FOR- you're holding everyone up!) Rant over. Maybe I am a travel snob but, I'm not going to apologize for traveling and doing what it takes to make sure I see the world.
At the end of the day, planes are going where they're going- you're either on them on you're not. I'm 21 with two more continents to reach and I fully intend to do so before 25. I also fully intend to see the 7 wonders of the world before 30.
Traveling isn't hard, anyone with the means to do so can. I don't mean that to say it's not expensive. It can be. But, at some point once you reach a place where you can use your disposable income on leisure activities, whether or not you travel is all about priorities. That Starbucks you drink everyday? It adds up, that could be a flight or hotel room if you saved the money in a high yield interest account + caffeine is addictive. Let it go. Those shoes you think you absolutely have to have? Half of a round trip ticket to somewhere in the US you've never been.
You wanna see the world? Have you signed up for free flight alerts? Are you flexible with regards to your destination or the timing? Are you willing to fly solo? Because at the end of the day, all you really need is yourself, a mode of transportation and maybe a backpack with some clothes. Wifi will come and go. You might miss an event or two. But the thrill, the memory of wherever you venture off to, that will never leave you. The lasagna you had in Italy, the lover you took in Paris, power you felt after climbing Mount Everest, and peace you found in Bali- will never leave you. They are who you are now.
I spent last weekend in Milan and I was reminded why I fell in love with traveling- not *touristing* in the first place. I can't explain it any way other than to say it makes me feel alive. Wandering down streets into restaurants, shops, random body's of water while trying to remember where I am so I can figure out how to get home- it's exhilarating. It's the best high there is for someone like me.
Falling in love with people and places I've never been has always spoken to my soul more than the routine of staying where I am for extended periods of time has. I get tired of people. I get tired of places. I get antsy, stir-crazy, claustrophobic. Being a traveler is a serious thing. It's a constant love affair with places, people, and things you haven't even found yet. It's always leaning towards the next destination- remaining ready to go. It means not settling and if you're afraid, you go, you jump, you explore anyway.
I've always valued freedom above all else. The ability to be in charge of my own life- don't tell me what to do or where to go. Hell, don't tell me how to get home, let me figure it out.
I travel to test myself. I travel to renew my faith- in humanity, in God, and in myself. I am my True North. I am my way home.