Growing up, I didn’t go out much. That limitation propelled me into wanting to see more of the world. I always had dreams of having my honeymoon in Italy, traveling to Australia to hold a koala, or going to the Philippines to meet the family I didn’t grow up with (Fun fact: I’ve done about 1 and 1/2 of the 3 things I previously listed).
As many people can agree, traveling is the dream. Going somewhere new and exploring what the world has to offer, getting away from the everyday routine you find yourself in, is desirable . . . but it isn’t easy.
I can count the amount of places I went to before graduating high school on one hand: Philippines, Reno, San Diego and LA, all of which were because of college tours or weddings/family gatherings. After attending college and graduating, I can now use both my hands to count the amount of places I’ve traveled to. Such a vast improvement, right?
To be honest with you, traveling was a checklist to me at first. I viewed traveling as a popularity contest, where I felt the need to take pictures as proof that I’ve been to these places and as a result, I would be liked and seen as “cool.” But now, I’ve grown to learn that traveling with purpose is the “cooler” thing to do.
What do I mean when I say travel with purpose?
I mean intentionally interacting with the locals, going to places that will teach you about the history and the culture of the area you’re visiting, choosing to reflect on your values and demonstrate them, and (if with a group or companion) sharing an experience that will make your time traveling memorable.
We have only one life (well, my belief in afterlife is a whole different story) and I genuinely believe that there can be a balance between both being touristy when you travel and being intentional. With the few traveling experiences I’ve gone through, I hope to share the lessons I’ve learned while traveling and what life I’m building from what’s been taught to me.