Why You Should Travel

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Let me start off by saying that I’ve always been the scrimping-to-save-every-last-penny type of person.

That being said, I’m no stranger to being told that I should travel and do the things I want while I’m young and have the chance.

I’m working on a happy medium here.

Day after day, we are bombarded with the idea of quitting our jobs now in order to pursue a life of carefree travels  –why we should travel. For whatever reason, those that are only taking their annual 3-week vacations are deemed to be restricting themselves to unfulfilled lives.

From the very beginning we’ve had misconceptions over what the ideal career would look like. Having the most fulfilling jobs that are best fit for each individual never meant that it wouldn’t come with pain and frustration. The concept of ‘loving every moment’ of our work is simply too abstract for our complex lives.

Feeling hesitant to pack up your bags and jump into an unknown world doesn’t mean you’re fearful of living on a budget or even clinging onto a stable life for fear of change. You see, life isn’t defined by whether you leave your cubicle to travel; it’s a matter of bringing Paris, New York and Rome all to a warm and fuzzy place you call home.

The only time we can truly grasp onto is now. We scrimp every last penny to go on what we’ve labelled once-in-a-lifetime trips. On these days or even weeks if we’re lucky, we neglect all our e-mails and even the internet because we’ve come to understand that perhaps we’ll never visit this geographical spot again.

Now allow me to suggest that you were never able to go on this once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Instead you were home with the people you love the most. Certainly being with these people is once-in-a-lifetime.

Why is it that we don’t jump upon these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to spend time with the ones we supposedly care about the most? Instead, many of us can be found purging on television shows and internet fads as if being home makes time a limitless commodity.

We’ve forgotten that home –like Paris, New York and Rome –is also, once-in-a-lifetime.

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Hoarding Memories

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Does it make sense when I say: I really want change for improvement in life but continue to be a nostalgic hoarder of objects that remind me of the past? These days, I tend to consider myself as someone open to change and new things in my life. That wasn’t always the case. I remember leaving my first home of 10 years for a newer, more beautiful home. While I was incredibly excited about my new room, a part of me was devastated. I wanted to keep a grasp of the feeling of familiarity that my first home gave me so much that I vowed (as the naive ten-year-old I was) to one day move back there.

None of those thoughts ever made me realize that it was the people, friends, family –loved ones –that made empty objects seem like they held more significance than they deserved.

Like the little overpriced restaurant at the street corner of my former home, it still holds an unexplained amount of significance. I lived in the area during my earliest, most blurry phase of my life and bought meals from the restaurant on what seemed to me as the rare special occasion and once before the school year began. This would make me illogically obsessed with the idea of going back every September. As if not having done so meant unfinished family business or a sign of something misplaced in my little cycle of life. It become a part of my history, my family’s history too if you will.

When I took walks in the summer I often found myself spending extra hours just to visit the place I once called home. The driveway seemed much narrower than the one that remains in my collection of vague memories and different flowers had been planted in place of my favourite daffodils. But my family wasn’t there. Suddenly the hoarding of such memories and giving them great significance meant nothing. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to visit again or stop feeling an odd connection with the place. Walking by the elementary school near the home was a similar story. The hopscotch lines are now covered by the perfect, impeccable pavement. Even the tree I used to climb had been chopped down and thus, remains no evidence the memories I have hoarded over the past decade ever existed.

This isn’t a sad story though. Being too attached to the memories despite having the people who created them with me turned the spotlight away from more significant things that are currently forming me new memories (likely better).

Despite the old box of picture books being of little use today and my refusal to give them away because of the memories, there is no turning back to the time when I most enjoyed them. When I am reminded of the memories I hoarded for so many years, I see a person that lacked the optimism to face a better future ahead. Time is unforgiving and waits for no one.

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