From a very young age I have been fortunate enough to travel from home. It became normal for me to board flights and arrive at destinations of different climate, different culture and different languages. Not on my own of course, but with my family; my parents and my twin sister. I am so grateful to have been taken on holidays all over the world since such a young age.. it is basically engrained in me to see different parts of the world.
Having visited the likes of Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Turkey, Canada, Italy, Portugal and many many more European destinations, it has opened my eyes to the diversity that makes our world and also the vast size of the planet we inhabit. As I got older and resort-holidays started to become a thing of my past, I developed a taste and a need to travel. So I set a goal when I was 17 years old and set up a bank account to fund my emigration by the age I turn 21. Back then I was in two minds between America or Australia but I was just off the back of our LA and Vegas trip so the flag swayed towards America for the time being. My parents have always encouraged my sister and I to save up and when we’re old enough pack our bags and settle down somewhere with a better climate. (Needless to say as a teenager, the saving never really went well.. if at all!) – but atleast I had a goal set in mind.
Last year at the age of 20, everything started looking up. This goal of mine began to seem possible. Rhianne and I shared very similar interests in terms of travel and both wanted to take our lives to the beautiful sandy beaches of Australia. With Rhianne finishing her last year of University in this coming May and myself working, we decided to look into a 3-4 week adventure across Asia, with a long-term plan of going to Australia the following year, 2018. But this meant that we’d need to bare the blues of adjusting back to life after spending the best month away from home. Having no time off work all year, as I would require all my annual leave, was a big negative, but even worse.. the full year of saving which followed, with no trips away from home seemed all too much. We didn’t want to stay, we wanted away.
It only took one moment when we began to turn this around. I remember clearly last summer, Rhianne and I driving back from our home-away-from-home in Scotland’s beautiful town of St. Andrews that we were chatting about our plans, discussing that we wish we could go to Australia sooner. Being my usual impulsive self, I threw an “I would go as soon as you’re finished uni” out into the open, not expecting much of a reaction or a serious answer, but Rhianne answered with something along the lines of how she would really love to. I didn’t want to take this too seriously because once my heart’s set on something, I’ll do my all to make it happen. Half an hour later still discussing the possibility of it all and with no real reason why we couldn’t, we got home and I began researching about Visas etc. The first time I got home, armed with Visa knowledge, I told my family, so that the idea was out on the open and they could hold me accountable. They had only a couple of weeks beforehand been told about our Asia trip so they must have been thinking ‘steady on’. A couple of days later we told Rhianne’s parents the news. Easy as that.. Australia it is!
The most surprising thing I noticed from organising this was after the news had passed around my work. Due to the nature of my job I meet and interact with a substantial amount of people, both staff and customers. The overwhelming amount of people, including close staff members telling me “my biggest regret is not travelling more when I was younger” really shocked me. I never knew it was such a highly regretted thing. I expected most people to have an ‘ah well’ attitude to it, but it made me realise what an amazing opportunity we have on our hands and that we should fully embrace it. (And yes we will!) The fact that we have just went for it and decided to make the move makes us both feel so grateful. Now 21, come October we are going to be combining our ideas; we are going to Bali for 3 weeks before starting our year in Australia. Thus ticking off both trips but, also fulfilling my long term goal of moving to Australia when I am 21.
As opportunities arise travel-wise, it is so important to make the most of them whilst they are available because 1) the chance may never be there again or 2) time can so easily fly past and before you know it you’re the subject of this topic. Say “YES” to every travel opportunity you are faced with, no matter how close or far, or if it’s on your bucket list or not. Some of the places you know nothing about can become the best memories you’ve made. Plus setting off with no expectations means there’s no room for disappointment and after all, you’re going to take something away from everywhere you visit..
So say yes and don’t become another “I regret not travelling when i was younger”.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
– Mark Twain