Me and group looking at our first batch of baby turtles
Oh well say hey there friends, Rome, countrymen, lend me your ears? Actually don’t, I don’t need them, unless I was planning on wearing them round my neck like the Black Ears in ‘Game Of Thrones’, tempting as it is to do I want your eyes! Why? Why, to read me with my dear!
Today I wanted to put out some words to those who are considering/contemplating/not even considering but are interested in, travel, or indeed a year ‘out’. Being on one myself right now I wanted to share the benefits and reasons why you should travel by looking first at the things that can hold you back!
Firstly some people are held back by age. Family ties are a big reason people don’t travel, you are tied down. But another reason is that people, even young people, get stuck into this frame of mind where they think they’ve seen all of what the world has to offer and are content to stay in that place. Now for some its fair enough, if you are happy then never let someone come along and convince you you’re not. But if you’re not then this mind set is the REASON you need to leave, open up that noggin of yours, meet new people, do something you haven’t done before! One thing I’d hate to be is one of those middle aged, middle class women who assume they’ve seen life because they listen to ‘The Archers’, you never are too old to learn and change is sometimes the best gift you can give yourself!
Other students out there don’t want to take gap years because of things like university. I’d recommend a gap year because you need a break! What, we’ve been in education our entire lives, if we’re lucky, surely some hands on experience is a good idea? Your mind can rest and not be frazzled. Furthermore it gives you an opportunity to get away from external influences of things around you, so when you come to make decisions in later life you know you’re doing them for you and not because of the environment you’ve been surrounded by. A small example is the way I dress here. Out of me and my sister I have always been the bigger tomboy, check out ‘Fake Nails And Why I’m In The Hunger Games’, but over time I’ve moved away from that part of myself because my lovely mother and sister are so good at being girly! I like the girly side of me don’t get me wrong, lace is the core fabric of my wardrobe at home and I love getting ready for parties (it’s the best bit!). But leaving those external influences has enabled me to find the side of me I’ve not looked at in a while, the side that wears flatcaps and can go for days without brushing their hair. The side that was always there but can now stand alone, and that only comes across in the way I dress! It’s weird because normally at home I wear dresses everyday, but when I told my friend here that they couldn’t believe it, and that’s only a superficial change, I may never wear lace again – WOW!
A big thing that scared me about going on a gap year was the homesick/mentality side. Anyone whose read me before now knows 2012 ended on a downer for me, so I was scarred shitless I wouldn’t be able to cope travelling on my own. But for people who are on the same boat as me let me tel you that YOU are the people a gap year is for. The feeling of being broken and delicate is horrible, and for the first time in many months I can tell you I no longer feel like that. A change of scene is actually probably the thing you most need, it gives you perspective, taking you away from the things that first put bad thoughts in your head initially can help root out those thoughts.
Possibly the biggest issue for most people consider is pecunary precautions, ie your funds. In this difficult economic climate taking a gap year may not seem like the best plan of action. BUT I had two jobs for five months to pay for my trip, and although I’ve only been here for 5 weeks, it’s already been worth every penny! Plus I’ve learnt a lot from working, see ‘Bitches At The Bar’ for some of my worldly insights into the world of labour. As Miley Cirus declares, it’s as much the climb as the destination!
Lastly some people are understandably hesitant about going travelling on their own, it was my main stressor out of everything, I was literally shaking from head to foot when my dad took me to the airport to meet the group I was volunteering with! However I’m actually so glad I went on my own as oppose to with someone I knew as it has forced me to interact with people around me, and I’ve made such good friends here I’m going straight on from the end of the ten weeks here to road trip across 5 states of North America with two of them!
So yeah, travel! Its not all roses and it does have its ups and downs but I think of it a bit like how people enjoy looking into other people’s fridges to see what they get in comparison to what you get, I am a clover person for instance whereas my best friend here stands loyal to the Lurpack crew. It’s like when you look in your friends wardrobe, if you like that, you’ll like travel, and when a is said and done, who doesn’t like a little nose about?