I will freely admit that when I was at school and University, I was always somewhat of a home bird.
The idea of moving to Cardiff for University from the South West around 60 miles away, on my own was terrifying. So, the idea of backpacking alone across the other side of the world in a different country, surrounded by unfamiliar faces was terrified me.I remember saying to my friends when talking about taking a gap year to travel,
“I could never be that person” or “no I would never do that”.
Well, now I really am eating my words.
After finishing university, like most of us, I faced the inevitable life decision of what to do next.
What job do I apply for?
Where should I move too?
Should I travel? How can I afford it? Is this the right decision?
I decided to take a step off the beaten path and made a decision to book a trip. A trip across the world to New Zealand. Hey, when you’ve never been travelling alone before, why not go as far away as you possibly can….right?
As a once travel cynic, I couldn’t help but think about the decision to go, but despite the constant worries I knew deep down this was going to be a life-changing experience. I was right, it was, but in more ways, than I had ever imagined.
Whilst out there I pushed myself out of the comfort zone and to a place where I would never have dreamt to go to had I stayed at home.
I went caving and Black Water rafting despite being terrified of the idea of small spaces, jumped out a plane from 15,000 ft and completed the largest bungee jump in New Zealand and third highest in the world.
At times, it was terrifying, I remember getting to the point of the bungee jump and I was so scared until the moment I was going to jump- does the smile below not say it all?
But, once I took the leap of faith, it was magical. An experience like no other.
Slowly, I was proving to myself that just gathering the courage to do something and surrounding yourself with people who bring a positive energy can have such an incredible impact on your life.
I returned home 2 months later, somewhat reluctantly, and fully infected with the travel bug. Travel must do’s completed, and 1 cliché travel tattoo later I am now able to answer my own question I had asked so many people:
Why do you want to travel so much?
Well for one it gives you a great excuse to avoid immediate life decisions and actually give yourself the time to think about what you really want in the long term rather than follow others in the immediate “rat race”. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to leave the British weather behind (or in my case bring it with me).
More importantly what better experience is there than learning something new, exciting and achieving something you can’t back home?
Eating new food, meeting new people, engaging in foreign cultures and doing it alone is something that I would suggest for everyone, no matter where they are from because I now know what it did for me.
Most importantly of all. After all the fun of new and exciting things, and the tan lines and after-sun…
“Travel changes you as a person. It changes your attitude towards life, brings you new experiences, helps you meet new people and most of all learn so much about yourself.”
You can learn more about yourself on the plane journey over there than you ever could in your life back home. You can learn more about new places than you ever could have done through the TV. You learn and understand more about cultures and people than I thought possible, and let’s be honest in the world we live in today that has surely got to be one of the biggest reasons to travel. To see the world. And to see it through the perspective of others, it is truly a lesson everyone of any age should learn, about others and also about themselves.
Meet the Storyteller: Lucy Lissack