If you follow me on any social media outlets you know I’ve been in Costa Rica studying Spanish for the last month. When I started my new retreat business earlier this year, I thought for sure this was my ticket to traveling full time as a career. It hasn’t gone exactly as I planned, but that hasn’t stopped me from deciding to travel the world for the next couple of years. My goal is to lead retreats while traveling too. Keep an eye out on where the next retreat will be later this year (Central or South America is on the list & next year I’ll have retreats in Europe!).
Many people see I’m traveling and say “Oh you’re so lucky!”. But luck really has nothing to do with it. I’ve set up my life to allow for something like taking a couple of years to travel. It’s not a lifestyle that everyone wants, or that everyone can stomach. Missing friends and family, having less money and security, dealing with other country’s customs and all the other challenges that come along with global travel are no picnic. It’s worth all the struggles to me and here are a few more reasons why I travel.
I’m not a traditional person
I don’t want a family and a white picket fence. Marriage and settling down is not really my thing. I’ve started to realize this even more and more over the last few years as I push 40. I’m accepting that it’s totally OKAY that I don’t want a traditional life. I like alternative lifestyles and have explored that side of myself more this year. Not having a significant other or children makes it easy to pack up and leave.
Some people rack up promotions and better portfolio options. I rack up number of countries visited. I don’t care about making a lot of money, or even saving money at all (who knows if there’s even a tomorrow!). This scares the sh*t out of most people. I sold most my belongings and moved back home so I wouldn’t have any living expenses. I paid off my car this year and pause things like my phone, gym membership and car insurance when I travel long term. Then I do work exchange or promote companies through my blog to get free accommodations. So it really doesn’t cost me much to travel. I spend less than I would living in a major city in the US.
I get bored easily
I’m one of those people who can’t sit still for long. Relaxing on the beach is difficult for me. I don’t want to be working 24/7 but I like doing stuff. Relaxing for me is watching a movie or listening to a podcast or taking a yoga class. I’m still doing something. This is another reason why I love traveling solo. If I’m with someone that likes to just sit by the pool or on the beach all day I won’t be able to hang for more than a couple of hours.
I love new challenges
When I came to Costa Rica to do Spanish courses my teachers and fellow students ask why. My answer is for the challenge. I want to keep my mind sharp. Learning is a lifetime endeavor. My dad is very forgetful and my grandmother passed because of Alzheimers. Travel and work exchange requires a lot of skills like working with new people, figuring out transportation and new customs, customer service, adaption, and inventiveness. Things do not always turn out like you think they will! I thrive on those challenges. Doing things like jumping into a waterfall or exploring a new city make me feel alive!
There could be no tomorrow/I’m not getting any younger
The last couple of years I’m taking the saying YOLO very seriously. Because it’s not cliche; we do not know what tomorrow holds for us. When I do leave this life permanently I want to do so with no regrets. I see my dad falling apart, sitting at home rotting away in front of his computer with no friends or hobbies. He hasn’t done things or seen things. He has no experiences to share with me. I don’t want that to be me in 40 years if I’m blessed to make it that far.
Now seems like the perfect time in my life to travel the world. I’m not getting any younger, and who knows if my health and able body will take me to exotic places much longer. Settling down sounds like a death sentence right now. And to be honest I have no idea where I want to plant some roots. I figure if I travel the world I may found that magical place that calls me to stay awhile.
I’m sick of the United States
I don’t want to get all negative up in here but what is going on in our political system and government is scary. The way people of color and women are treated is frightening. The conservative, patriarchal, misogynist bullsh*t I see on a daily basis is unbearable. I understand that things are not so great in other parts of the world too. Maybe you think I’m running away instead of staying and doing something about it, but sometimes I feel like things are just out of my control.
Christy has been to: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Aruba, Barbados, Bahamas, Switzerland, Colombia (November ’16), Costa Rica, Germany (just airport, going for a month in June ’17), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Spain, United Kingdom, Guatemala (happening Feb ’17), Honduras, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Turks and Caicos Islands, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vietnam.
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It’s on my bucket list to see the world
Do you have a bucket list? What kinds of things are on it? At the top of my bucket list is a bunch of countries I want to visit (along with learning the piano, learning another language which I’m doing this year, taking bellydancing classes, & more). I haven’t made a new list in a while but looking at the last one I wrote I can already mark off some of those places. My new rule is I don’t visit the same country twice (after going again to Southeast Asia earlier this year for the 3rd time). I’ve only been to 34, so with 195 total countries in the world I still have a ton to go!
What are some of your favorite countries or places you’ve visited? What are the must sees? Share with me in the comments so I can add it to my list!