To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where my passion to live an unconventional, completely nomadic and unapologetically adventurous lifestyle originated. Despite being fortunate enough to have traveled abroad as a child with my family, or several personal globe-trotting expeditions to Kenya, Spain and across Europe, my desire to travel the world has only increased with age. I find myself homesick for places that I've yet to go, despite the many incredible opportunities I’ve already had to fulfill this wanderlust void.
I can't recall a time that I wasn't fantasizing about living in a camper van or wandering across the globe with nothing more than a camera, a map, and a backpack. Most people think this, in simple terms, is crazy and totally unrealistic. But what I think is even crazier and more unrealistic is letting this buzzing fire within me die because of societal norms and the perception of what were supposed to do and how were supposed to live. I often smile to myself when people say, “wait, so you went to University, but you plan being a traveling hippy when you graduate instead of starting your career?” I need not to justify my reasoning for being a university educated traveling hippy with no rush to jump into a career. I know the incredible value and the array of possibilities and experiences that are soon to be created. All of which, I might add, are the unconventional teachers that provide life lessons rather than those from a textbook.
Traveling teaches us to step outside our comfort zone, follow our desires and passions and grants us the ability to build a balanced and fulfilled life.
I wish there were more people, those who have fueled their passions with stamps in their passports, who would share their stories of adventure. So by no means I am a professional global vagabond, or life coach, but I suppose after an abundance of travel in my youth, and recent months of planning for my summer journey around the world, I can perhaps enlighten you on three very important things:
1. You DO NOT need a lot of money to travel
Instead, you need to wander in a more deliberate way, using a variety of travel hacks, books and resources that will give you the financial freedom and flexibility to travel safe, efficiently and on a really feasible budget.
2. The balance of work, travel and personal time are the key components to creating happiness and mindfulness.
If more value is placed on experience rather than material possessions, you will learn to appreciate the little things in life rather than what society tells us will result in happiness and success.
3. If you can't go a single week without thinking about a destination, an adventure or an item on your bucket list... you're wasting time.
By putting your passions and desires aside, you're putting out your own fire. I'm not saying go buy a plane ticket right now (even though I think that would be totally awesome) but I am saying that time is the one thing you'll never get back, and you will in fact regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did do.
If you’re still with me, I can confidently assume that you also are a wanderlust soul, interested in more than a secure and society-approved conventional future and are looking for reasons to perhaps dive into some nomadic and unapologetically adventurous opportunities.
So, I ask you this…If you we’re given one week to live, what would you do? Would you get on the first plane to Australia and surf the Gold Coast? Would you jump into free-fall from the clouds with nothing more than a parachute? Would you take a spontaneous trip to a tropical jungle, ride an elephant or jump off a waterfall? Again I ask, if you we’re given one week to live, what would you do?
If you’ve ever sat with this thought, perhaps its lead you to writing a bucket list. If you’ve dipped your toes in this pond of possibilities, you may have a game plan as to where you want to travel and different adventures that you are constantly daydreaming about.
Take five minutes right now to think about this; the first things that come to your mind, the ideas that jump from your soul onto the page. I encourage you to make them as wild and wanderlust and you wish.
Two places you would go.
example: National Hot Springs in Reykjavík, Iceland
Two adventures you would embark on?
example: Cage Dive with Sharks in South Africa
Now, let me ask you this, what is stopping you right now, in this very moment, from doing these things? Perhaps its money, or a 9-5 job that doesn’t allow for vacation time. Perhaps you’ve never traveled afar, or don’t think you your parents would support you.
What is holding you back?
I am simply saying that if this list above of reasons as to why you can’t travel the world or embark on big adventures didn’t exist, would you take the leap?
My bucket list has been revised hundreds of times, things being added and crossed off on a regular basis. And with my bucket list, I deigned a round-the-world-trip that was within my budget and one that will allow me to cross of countless things that I fantasize about every day. For so long, I used my hockey schedule and bank account as an excuse to not travel the world, even though it consumed my every thought.
I finally realized that I am 21-years old, with the world at my fingertips and a bucket list that is begging me to complete it. Yes, I will eventually fall into a career that I am passionate about, and yes I will use the university degree that I am about to acquire. But I will not let these excuses be the reasons as to why I can’t live an unconventional, completely nomadic and unapologetically adventurous lifestyle that I have dreamed about my whole life.
The hardest things in life are also the most fulfilling. Think about it for a second, what's the hardest thing you’ve ever done? And my guess, it’s also been one of the most fulfilling? So while a decision to recreate your life, or take that trip you’ve always wanted is bold and perhaps scary, I ask you to be fearless in the pursuit of what you want, because you only have one life and it would be an absolute tragedy if you didn’t do the things that make it worthwhile.
I leave with you a mantra I created, which I use in business, travel, school and life:
May we never lose our nomadic tendencies, our positive vibrations and our wonder.
May we always feed our passion for travel, our curiosity and our adventurous spirit.
May we remain mindful, wild, fearless and humble.
And may we not just live, but be alive.