My friend Candice once said to me on a bus in China that the greatest thing about travelling is that it opened the whole world to her.
Before you live in another country your ideas about what’s possible in your life are really limited what you’ve learned and experienced in your home country.
There’s a mentality that the only responsible path through life is to go to school, decide what you want to do for a living and then go to university for it, then get a job, work on improving your career, save for retirement, then finish. The problem I see with this path is that it’s really hard to decide on what kind of career you want to pursue, especially before trying it out first… and then once people do get the jobs they desire they often find they get sick of doing them year after year but then feel trapped in them because that’s what they are educated in.
Travel and Work
A big eye opener for me while travelling is the amount of opportunities available to work and live in other countries. I really had no idea there were so many desirable place in the world to go, and so many things I could do to sustain my expenses in each of these places.
One of my friends started by going tree planting in Canada, then went to do odd labor jobs in Australia then came to China to teach English and in the near future will move to Nicaragua to set up his own guest house business. He also spent countless time travelling and enjoying each of these countries along the way.
One thing about travelling and carrying your belongings in a backpack is that it’s often easy to massively cut down on your expenses and therefore the amount of money you need to make. When my friend was working in Australia he rented and lived in a big van and joined a large van community that travelled the country. He met amazing friends and went on countless adventures with these other travelers. The best part was, for how cheap he was living he could work for a month and save up enough money to travel for 3, then work one more month and travel for 3 more.
The truth is theirs so many places to go and so many ways to make a living while travelling. The best part is the more you travel, the more travelers you meet and the more opportunities you hear about. Travelers are often people with ideas, that they are interested in bringing you in on. I’ve already been taking part in an exciting website project that I never would have found out about otherwise. Your future life passion may be discovered over a beer halfway around the world!
Besides working, travelling opens up a world of new friendships and relationships that you would never otherwise encounter back home. Here as an English teacher in China I’ve closely worked with people from Canada, Australia, America, South Africa, The UK and Sweden! We all come together with a common interest and goal, and all learn from the experience that we’ve had. Travelers usually have a lot in common, so the friendships made are often more rewarding than with people back home who may not share your viewpoints on life. It’s also great to know that as I continue to travel I’ll have friends I can visit from all over the world.
Travelling also opens you to the possibility for romantic relationships that you’d never otherwise find. I know a number of people who have fallen so deeply in love with Chinese women here that they’ve gotten married and decided to live in China indefinitely. This is just another example about how travelling opens up different possibilities for your future.
My Country is the World
My favorite quote is by Thomas Paine reading “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.“ I believe these are some of the wisest words about how to view the oneness of humanity. The more you travel, the more friends you meet from around the world, and the more connections to the world in general you have the more you feel as if the whole world is your country. And the more you experience other cultures, the more you realize what we all have in common, and the more you share and learn from people from a world so different than yours the more you become open minded to the differences (such as religion) and the more you accept everyone as your brothers and sisters and simply desire to do good.
Travelling opens up a world of opportunities, and frees us from the confines of a single country to experience the whole world as our home.