Backpacking: Three years later

So here we are again. It’s been three years since I quit my job, took my savings and began an adventure of travelling solo. I remember the feeling of “what if I land in the wrong city”, “what if I run out of money”, “what if, what if and many more what-ifs.”

Today, those “what-ifs” are “so what”. When I was backpacking I became this brave and confident person, well in everyone else’s lives. I had been battling, anxiety, depression and panic attacks but that did not stop me. Even though at times I thought it would be a huge hurdle.

I visited about 13 countries and made friends for life, had the best days of my life and was learning the definition of independence in the world. 

My initial trip was for about 3 months, but after I landed in New Zealand, I got paid from my last job and being so close to Fiji I knew I’d regret not going. Those 3 months turned into 5 and I do not regret a single penny spent on a life-changing adventure. 

I am an overthinker and have got used to coping with my thoughts. There were times I missed home-cooked meals, and travelling with dietary requirements can be a challenge. 

But sacrifices have to be made and people question it a lot. “Why would you go there?”. I always say there is no wrong or right way of travelling. As long as you are not disrespectful or feel a certain entitlement. Like people aren’t always going to understand your language nor will they understand every part of your culture, just how you may question theirs. I loved learning about different cultures and how your perception can change. I left my city to let go, let go of the obstacles, the peer-pressure, societies values and some of my own barriers. 

Sometimes I mentally take myself back there, I didn’t have the camera equipment I have now so let’s just say I embraced a lot more. But I am learning to take some time out and put the camera down. 

Since then I have been working for myself, reached 30 countries before 30 (as I set out to do) and visited all 7 continents. I thought I had “lost” a lot of people, turns out I was just shown who will be there and who won’t. 

There are people who enjoy listening to stories about travel and then there are those who question why you haven’t settled. You have one life, live it to your fullest not others. 

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