Sometimes all it takes for my usual state of “Where to next?” to transform into “I just found a $150 round trip flight to Iceland and we leave tomorrow,” is a really inspiring travel story or photo or quote. Also included are those awesome Expedia commercials (like this one or this one) or finding my dirndl in the back of my closet, creased to death from sitting unused for too long. So basically, not much. When you’re always looking for any excuse to get on the road, you can find signs anywhere.It also doesn’t exactly help when any search on Pinterest or Google will yield hundreds, thousands of wise words imploring you to pack a bag and set off on the journey of a lifetime. Turns out people have had a lot to say about the value of traveling since the beginning of time. So it’s no surprise that if you’re looking for a reason or you need a little push to take the plunge, chances are the things that will speak to you are out there.
Just for fun, I’ve compiled a list of my 13 favorite quotes at the moment that inspire me to do more and see more and which don’t do a thing to cure my incessant wanderlust. But read at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for flights booked, hostels reserved or jobs quit, though I do fully support you in all of these endeavors.
Adventure is out there. See you on the way.We’re all guilty of it. Routine. Familiarity. Reliability. But when does that safety net of a life-well-laid-out become an excuse rather than just a comfort? There’s no time. There’s no money. My career. My friends. The timing’s just not right. There will always be a reason not to go. There will always be a next time. Until there isn’t. The future will undoubtedly present you with unforeseen challenges of its own, that’s just its way. Do not take this time you have now for granted. Make it work. Sleep on trains, planes and automobiles. Eat Ramen. Put your life in a backpack. Walk, hike, run, bike, everywhere, anywhere, just go. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. Have an adventure. We always hear that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, and it’s true. Invest in yourself. You will never feel more challenged, more independent or more alive than when you’re out there, testing your limits and learning on the road. You are important. This journey is important. Remember that. Those crazy nights, those silent moments, those priceless friendships- those are the experiences that will stay with you. They will carve a place in your heart and your memory and they will change you, fundamentally. And that’s a good thing. The times that push you and your boundaries, the times that make you reach for more- these define you, how you see the world and how you choose to shape your life. It’s a choice, after all. School, job, marriage, house, babies- that trajectory is something you have control of. Take it. The world is huge. We are tiny. Explore it. Meet other tiny humans and realize that politics and news channels and other people’s prejudices are flat out wrong. Learn first hand what Seaseme Street taught you in the first place: we’re all different, but we’re all still the same. Go. Travel as far as you can. Make memories, make mistakes, make friends. Be inspired. Explore. That fire you feel right now for adventure, for experience, for life- keep it. Don’t loose sight of how important that is. That passion that fuels you- run with it as far as it will take you. I promise it will lead you to amazing places well outside your cubicle. Life is too short to spend sitting in front of a screen waiting for something to happen. Opportunity is knocking every second- all you have to do is find the courage to answer it. There are some places that you connect with instantly, that will pull at your heartstrings in an unfamiliar but warming way. It will feel like home even though it’s not. It will call you back and back again insatiably, and that, is a wonderful thing. When you find that place, if you are lucky enough to find that place- a place you love, a place that is right- hold on to it. If you feel stifled or bored or restless, change. The world is too big and too wonderful for those things. Book a ticket, pack your bags and go. Take that stifled mind to the mountains of Machu Picchu and those restless bones to San Fermín. There is always something out there waiting for you. Go find your happiness. Create your own happiness.
Stay curious. Ask questions. Learn. Talk with people from different time zones and countries and continents. There is so much we don’t know and not a minute to waste.
Uncertainty is really okay. You don’t have to have your entire week or year or life planned out before it even gets started. Surprises are good, mistakes will happen and more than likely you’ll end up somewhere fabulous you never expected.
So buy a ticket, take a flight, take a chance, take a leap. Have a little faith in yourself and in the world yet to be seen. Take a deep breath, you can do this, but only you. And only you will have to answer to your future self. Make sure you have some good stories to tell when you get there.
This time is valuable. A job, a house, a life plan- you can still have those things when you return. So if, right now, that’s not enough, if you’re looking for a sign, here it is.Ready now? I’ll see you on the road…