Are you programmed NOT to travel?

When I was little it seemed that the sky was the limit for what you wanted to be when you grew up. Children have an unlimited imagination when they are young. I remember being asked that question aged 3 or 4 about what I wanted to be when I grew up… I gave 3 answers. First I wanted to be a housewife just like my mum (was at the time). Then I decided I wanted to be a dancer, but not instead of being like my mum. I wanted to be both a housewife and a dancer. Whoever was asking the question (I think it was a teacher or an auntie) said I had to choose between both. I decided that I didn’t want to choose between both, and that instead I’d be a dog! Apparently I didn’t understand the question. Apparently she didn’t understand how cool dogs were. I’m guessing she had a cat.

Anyway… before I digress too much further, as silly as some of my childhood ambitions might have been, what they do go to show is that we are not born with the 2.4 mindset. As kids we just say what we really want to be. It doesn’t have to revolve around a job per say. We don’t necessarily see an occupation as defining us, and we certainly don’t see why we can’t achieve what we want to achieve. In fact, it doesn’t even register into our brains, this idea of not being able to do exactly what we want to do when we grow up. We also don’t see any problem in changing what we want to do at any time. We don’t see things as set in stone because quite simply nothing ever is.

The only time as people that we start to change our ideas, and make them less ambitions, is when someone tells us “That’s just not possible.” And that’s the problem… people do tell us that what we want is just not possible. Or that something is so unlikely, that although technically possible, it’s like a million in one chance of ever happening to you so just don’t do it! Society tells us this all the time. Either directly or indirectly throughout our whole entire lives.

By the time we get to school leaving age we may still have some youthful optimism left, but for many of us even at that age we may feel like there is a certain path we must follow. For me I thought it was going on to university and getting a degree. It’s not that I felt like everyone had to, or that you had to to become successful. I knew there was people out there who had been successful without going to university, but deep down I just felt like if you were clever you had to. That it was something that was expected.

At first I felt like I was trapped. I knew deep down that I couldn’t just go and get an office job somewhere, and work my way up the management ladder like everyone else I knew who lived around me. Yet, I knew this was the sensible thing to do. I knew this was what people wanted me to do. That they’d be happy if I did this because then they wouldn’t worry about me, but for some reason I just couldn’t stop listening to my instincts. In the end I took a Gap Year. I booked a one-way ticket to Australia to give me some thinking time, but when I booked that ticket I knew there was no going back.

I came back from Australia a changed person. I now knew that following my instincts was the way to go. I knew that I might mess things up along the way sometimes, but mistakes don’t always mean bad things, and that ultimately this is what made me happy. And yet I wonder, what would have happened if I had not followed my instincts on that day I left work early to go buy a one-way ticket to oz? It was almost like I had to book that ticket one-way, not just for budget reasons, but also for psychological reasons too. It was like me saying “This is the route I’m taking in life, and there’s no going back.” Ever since that moment back in 2006 travel has been a part of my life.

So…. my point is this. If you want to do something with your life you have to do it. Sometimes you don’t even know exactly what it is you want to do at first, but find something you enjoy or have a passion for and start with that. Who knows what direction it will take you off in? Either way, if you don’t like what you’re doing right now, then you at least know that it’s not the path for you. At least you know this way is not the way to go, and you can try something else.

If you’re happy then it rubs off on the people around you. You may think you have to do something to provide something for you kids, or for other family members or people around you, but at the end of the day as long as you can find some way to pay your main bills then doing something you love should take precedence. If what you love doesn’t pay your main bills right now, then find a way. Think outside of the box. Even if you have a family to pay for, if you’re happy your kids will be happy. Your mood rubs off on them. So many people are misguided in thinking that the most important thing is to provide for the kids financially. Sure, you need to be able to pt a roof over their heads, but it doesn’t need to be a mansion! Do you want them to grow up thinking money is the most important thing in life?

So whatever it is you want to do in life, please just find a way to do it. And if travel is specifically what you want to do, then you have my guarantee that it will be one of, it not the greatest things you ever do. Trust me, it’s pretty fucking cool.

3 Responses to “Are you programmed NOT to travel?”

  1. I’ve always been fascinated by places and cultures. I was content with just seeing pictures and reading about them and dream that someday I’d be able to see these countries for real. And then I got to do a solo trip to Singapore. I didn’t know what I was missing! I got bitten by the travel bug, I guess. I want to do it again and again and again. My wanderlust was born. But of course, we are in certain situations that make things not that easy to do. Can’t just get up and leave. I admire you Jane for having done it! 🙂 And thanks for this post.. it somehow intensified my wanting to live my dreams. It’s not impossible! Haha..

  2. Great Blog. I think I was programmed to travel personally> i love it.

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