The Perks of Being a Traveler

The guide to taking a step and changing your life in a matter of miles

February 18, 2015  |  By Tania Godeanu, Romania

The Perks of Being a Traveler

Photo : Tania Godeanu

From the very beginning, humans were designed to conquer the rough, dusty surface of planet Earth. Their endless hunger for knowledge and discovery broke numerous limits, thus travelling came to life. Nowadays it's not only about swallowing thousands of miles in a matter of hours, it's about shaping a lifestyle. It involves one’s senses at an utmost level, being the lesson that school will fail to teach. Are you willing to take it in your own hands?

It's quite THAT simple. The secret? Open your eyes. As wide as you can. Keep your mind as quiet as possible; don't get foolishly distracted by what the surface has to offer, seek deeper, don't settle for a crumb. When asked what travelling meant to her, Andreea replied vividly: "It's not an action for me; it's a way of living. I can’t imagine my life without travelling. I was not made to stand in a certain place; my heart was made to travel the world." Her words mirror the utter passion of a wanderer. Even though she might be considered still a youngster, her experience is rather vast. "Travelling definitely left a mark on me. Let alone, it proved to be the most adventurous thing in my whole life: every time I travelled by myself, some bad things happened. Maybe that’s a sign I should stop. But I love it so much that I’m not able to seize. It showed me that I have the will to climb on the top of any mountain to get the perfect view, but also how different, yet similar, people of the world are." Many would say she should have learned her lesson from the first unlucky incident, but why give it up?  "By travelling your soul grows, your horizons broaden and you get a real vision of how the world really looks like. You try new things, get to learn new cultures, develop a different way of thinking and find friends all over the world." Well, she makes her point.

Some individuals make the brave choice of upgrading the notion of travelling: as their full time job. A former flight attendant, who happens to be my sibling, describes her experience: "When you are constantly in one place, it all becomes familiar. You know your city so well (...); you are surrounded more or less by the same people on a daily basis. You take the same road to school or work, you eat the same things every day, and the biggest excitement is when SOMETHING happens. When you travel, everything is new. New sounds, smells, people or sights. The world is big and every single place has something unique and gorgeous to offer. People are diverse. You will learn that they are not better or worse, or do things more or less efficiently than you. They are just different." There is so much DIVERSITY in this world, due to which every culture, every nation, and every individual is unique. They represent the ultimate teachers of life, guiding your steps closer to you inner self. "You learn about yourself: personal limitations and capacity to adapt, what and who is really important for you,(...) humility and tolerance, awareness that people come in various shapes, sizes and colors and the definition of beauty is different everywhere." Travelers two, skeptics zero.  

There are endless perspectives on why travelling is the master of self-development, but is packing a few clothes and a camera, jumping on a plane, to wake up at the other side of the world, really worthy? Maria, who has just entered adulthood, has not a trace of doubt about it. "I would firmly advise someone to travel, as much, as often and as far as possible. Travelling means more than packing your stuff and walking around. It means discovering the world, other cultures, and other people, as well as how one perceives life. Travelling is a valuable experience that should be lived by every single human being, as it's the only thing that lasts a lifetime". Still not convinced enough? Take a moment to reflect upon your day. You woke up, brew a cup of coffee absently-mindedly, took a sip and then the gates of daily-chaos opened, flooding your being. Not quite the scenario of a fairytale life. But this girl's view is strikingly similar:"I would describe travelling as the time when you escape from the stressful life and choose between adventure and exploration of new things, or just simply relaxing."

How does the notion of travel sound now? Does it have a dose of sugar in it? Or is just in the bitter-sweet stage? Regardless of this aspect, don't be afraid. Don't wait for the perfect moment, make it perfect. Choose to be in charge of your life, so as when your grandchildren will jump on your rusty knees, you will state out loudly, proudly: "I have lived my life!"

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