I’m not sure the exact day when my passion for traveling began. I was not brought up with a lot of traveling and I had never been on an airplane until I was 15 years old, mostly due to my dads fear of flying and my mums inexperience.
After my high school graduation a friend asked if I wanted to join her on a work&travel holiday to Australia. Since all I had was a temporary summer job I told her YES and 2 months later we were off.
To be honest, we didn’t plan our trip very well. We had some loose point we wanted to do but nothing else. This was mostly because of two reasons.
1. We were young and inexperienced travelers and therefor had no idea what we wanted out of the trip or what we wanted to do or see when we got there. We just knew we wanted to travel.
2. It was a very quick decision made and a lot needed to be done and fixed before the trip began, such as applying for a visa and earning as much money as possible. So the actual planning for the trip itself had to give way for more urgent preparation.
It took about a week for me to fall in love with Australia and about an other week before I fell in love with backpacking and traveling. The fact that we planed virtually nothing until we got there made the entire trip constantly spontaneous and full of adventures. If we liked a place we stayed for longer, if we disliked a place, we up and left. Usually when we arrived at a new place we had no idea how long we were going to stay, which was part of the charm.
Not every travel experience can be made like this, sometimes due to visa restrictions and other times due to outer thing you have no control over. But it is one of the most liberating ways of traveling and if you’re ever given the chance to jump into a travel experience head first, take it and don’t look back!
When our 8 month in Australia was up I found myself back in Sweden longing for the next great adventure. I wanted out on the road again with a backpack strapped to my back and the freedom to choose my own destination.
I think it is this longing that sets a backpacker and a world traveler apart from other travelers. The longing, the planning and the constant lookout for new places to visit, can make even the smallest of conversations turn into a full fledged travel plan in a few minutes. For me, traveling is not about going to a warm country to lay on the beach for a week, visiting the same restaurant ever night and drinking the same coconut drink each day. It’s more about the people I meet and about the cultures I get to see and experience. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and branching out, getting to know yourself as you get to know a new country.
I believe we grow as people if we travel. I believe we become more tolerant, more acceptable and more open people the more we travel. I think among all the things that makes a person great, these are the main attributes to have and to share with others.