I woke up today and, against my better judgement, started scrolling down social media sites on my phone. I have a ton of photos and videos from my China trip that I have never posted and decided to post one. After doing that, I spent another half hour looking at each photo and video and reminiscing on the experience. I learned two things; the first being that I absolutely loved being there and would do just about anything to go back to China right now and that travelling is probably the most important thing to me.
I’ve known for years that I would not be satisfied with my life unless I had the opportunity to explore other parts of the world. I’ve always had a curious mind and wanted to know more about, well, everything. Namely, what the culture and the lifestyle is like for people in other parts of the world. Aside from being a writer, (and/or college professor. I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes) travel is the only thing that I’ve known for certain that I wanted to do.
Because I didn’t grow up in a family that could afford to do so, I never traveled outside of the U.S with them. The tail end of my freshman year in college was the first chance I got. The funny thing is, when I got accepted into the program, I had no idea how I would pay for it. I knew there were scholarships, but those still wouldn’t cover the cost. I didn’t really care though, I knew I wanted to go and I knew that I would just have to figure it out somehow. And I did, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t spend months stressed out about how I’d actually do it.
This experience taught me something else too though, that I would do whatever it took in order to follow a dream and see the world.
A couple of years ago, I discovered the YouTube duo ‘DamonandJo’ and fell into a hole watching all of their videos about travel. They’ve been everywhere. They make sure to emphasize that just like most people in the world, they can’t afford to travel either. So they cut corners by taking extremely cheap flights or staying in hostels to save on the cost of hotels. They’ve inspired me so much, they helped me to realize that traveling isn’t unattainable and it isn’t just some hobby that I should try out once or twice but a lifestyle that I have to adopt.
Watching the videos from China whisked me back to those moments. I felt like I was there again. Making jokes about the extravagance that some members of the last Chinese dynasty displayed and wishing that we could have done the same thing while touring the Summer Palace. Getting excited whenever we saw french fries at a restaurant or even fighting over the fried rice when it was just too good at some places. Fighting off a panic attack because climbing the Great Wall was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.
The memories are endless. The opportunity for me to create more is not, and this is why I have to start and never stop. If traveling is a dream that means everything to me then there is no reason why I shouldn’t allow myself to do it.