Sometimes in life you’ve really got to challenge yourself
Since I’ve told everyone I am going travelling again all I’ve been asked is why. To be honest with you, it’s a question I don’t really know how to answer; not because I don’t know the answer, but because I do.
The last time I went travelling for an extensive period of time was throughout 2009 and 2010. I spent 20 months travelling, volunteering and working abroad on the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. Without going into too much detail, it was the best time of my life. I know a lot of people say that, but travelling really resonated within me, and it made me into the person I am today.
Also, it awoke a desire and a passion I didn’t even know existed – not only was that to travel and see the world, but I wanted to inspire others to do the same. I wanted to inspire others to do something different with their lives.
I initially travelled to learn all about different cultures and societies – I had a thirst for knowledge that I knew couldn’t be sated in the UK – and that fact still hasn’t changed today.
When I returned back to the UK I immediately started a journalism diploma. I knew if I was going to beat those post-travel blues I would have to throw myself into a new project, and that’s exactly what I did. Every day for the next six months I studied everything I needed to know to become a competent journalist.
I never put voice to my dream in case it didn’t come true, but in my heart of hearts I wanted to become a travel writer combining all of my passions into a career.
When I finished my diploma in February 2011 I met my first major obstacle – finding a job.
It was the only time I really doubted whether I could make my dreams come true, and my initially reaction was if I couldn’t become a travel writer then I may as well just travel again; at least that made my happy.
However, I made a promise to myself that I would only go travelling again for an extended period of time if it had a purpose to it; I didn’t want to travel just for the sake of travelling, but I wanted to work towards something, something bigger than me, something I could be proud of.
Since I made that promise to myself I’ve worked as a local journalist, went on to become the travel editor of gapyear.com, and I’ve represented some of the world’s largest tourist boards in PR and social media. Safe to say but I’ve quite literally been living the dream as a travel writer for the past three and a half years.
So, why would I want to throw away a well-paid job of £30,000 per year, and a life I absolutely adored in London, just to go travelling again?
Quite simply – because I want more.
I want more than just a well-paid job and a comfortable life.
I want to wake up in the morning and not know where I’ve just been, let alone where I am going next. I want to be inspired by the places I’m in and the people I’m meeting, and not just for a couple of weeks but for a few months. I want to examine everything and work out the answers to questions I don’t even know about yet. But most importantly, I want to challenge myself; challenge myself in the way that I travel, challenge my goals in life, and challenge myself to be a better person.
As I said, I made a promise to myself I would only go travelling again for an extended period of time if it had purpose to it; now I have found that purpose.
As one dream dies another one is born, and now I want to work on my next major project, on my next dream.
I am and always will be a travel writer, but now I want to get into travel presenting on TV.
It’s all well and good describing places people should visit, but it’s a completely different thing showing them.
With A Brit and A Broad, I really do have the opportunity to bring people and places to you.
A Brit and A Broad is going to be like nothing else out there, and the videos we are going to produce are going to really highlight why you should travel, why it really is one of the best things you can do with your life.
For you to really understand that we’re going to have to show you.
A lot of people have already doubted whether I should go travelling again and they have doubted the motives behind it, but I truly believe in this new project, that it’ll be a stepping-stone onto bigger and better things in the travel industry.
Yes, it is a gamble, but if you don’t have belief and trust in yourself, how do you expect others to? It’s important to roll the dice and gamble than settle with the chips on the table, otherwise you’ll never know where you’ll be on the final hand of the game.
So, from now on when people ask me why I am going travelling again, I am going to say “it’s to live life to full and see where it takes me”.