The 4 Ways Travel Has Ruined Me

Travel has been a huge part of who I am for as long as I can remember (which is until about 15 years ago, lol). But only recently, in the midst of my college experience, have I really gained perspective on the long-lasting effects it's had on my life. I've met so many more people, experienced more things, and laughed harder than I ever would have if I had been content with staying in Virginia my entire life. But the other day I was thinking, and a thought occurred to me. Travel has actually ruined my life.

I’m Too Independent

I recently have been trying to plan a Fall Break trip and found out most of my friends have plans already. Without a blink I started looking for solo trips around the U.S. I could do by myself. What the heck! Shouldn’t I be disappointed that I won’t be with my friends? Or scared? Or lonely to travel by myself? It never crossed my mind. Travel has taught me that I am perfectly capable of being happy and enjoying life without people surrounding me all of the time.

Don’t misunderstand I love my friends and family to death and they make up a huge chunk of my life as it is. But I don’t need anyone; I’m not going to die if someone walks out of my life, or if someone disappoints me. The world is too big of a place to get caught up in the little things, and you have too many options in your life to be so controlled by only one.

I Don’t Settle/ I’m Too Indecisive

Being in a situation where I have to choose one of many options is the bane of my existence. I’ve become a self-diagnosed commitment-phobe simply because there’s so much to experience and so many different avenues for life to go down; how can you choose just one? I don’t even have any tattoos because if I chose to get one I would be choosing to get 15.

Travel has made me appreciate every option, thing, and person in life for their own values and made me see that every thing in this world is unique from every other thing. So for me it’s hard to say “I like this more than that”, and choose one thing over another. I try to like everything and everyone as equally as I can so I can gain the most and appreciate the best of everything (so don't ask me to pick the restaurant or movie).

I’m Too Frugal

Okay before you start bashing me yes I have an iPhone, a laptop, and a car so I'm not "live off the land" frugal. But travel has really opened my eyes to the value of a dollar. And it's not so much that I feel guilted into spending less money after traveling, but the thought of $10 buying me a meal at Panera or admissions into a National Park for a week of camping does change your perspective. So no, don't you will not catch me falling for 7 for $27 at Victoria's Secret or buying a Free People lace dress for $4500.  Simply put travel has wedged it's way past my other priotities when it comes to money spending (edit: I can only say that because I don't have a mortgage or kids, lol)

I’m Easily Restless

This is probably the easiest thing to blame travel for. I’ve found it impossible to stay in one place for an extended period of time (Jesus take the wheel of my bank account). How can I? I’ve seen beautiful African plains in Kenya and insane rainbow, icy mountains in Iceland. I’ve met the funniest group of travelers in my life in a hostel in London, and the most giving and humble people in the world in Okinawa, Japan. All my mother’s family is in southern California, and all my father’s family hail from Jamaica. How can I? It's just never been in the cards for me to not travel when there are an infinite amount of places to see, people to meet, feelings, emotions, struggles, and thoughts to experience, that I'll never have to opportunity to encounter unless I get on a plane!

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In these ways, travel has ruined my life. Ruined the standard life of a twenty year old where my biggest priorities are which frat guy is newly single, and the only travel

And it if you don’t watch out it can ruin yours too. It’s made me steadfast in my core values yet amazingly open to different perspectives. My feet have carried me places I never could have even imagined, and my heart has felt things I didn't know I was capable of feeling. It’s made me have an individual appreciation for everything in life, and I just think it's made me the best person I could have ever been.

Recently I came across this quote which I think a lot of people both young and old can relate to.

“There are 7 billion people on this planet who I have not met, and 195 countries I have not visited. Yet I am stuck in this insignificant town, being pressured into making decisions about my future, when I barely even know who I am.”

If that made you realize something about yourself, you shouldn't be afraid to take a leap and make a change. Maybe a life-ruining experience is just what you’ve been needing!

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Cynthia says:

    Haha I love this article! A lot of it rings true to me as well!

  2. Loved the part about being frugal. Every time I got to buy something, I think ‘that would be x meals in Central America’ or ‘that would be x nights in an Airbnb in Europe.’ It’s definitely not a bad way to think though!

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