Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing the wrong thing or going the wrong places. Other people my age are happy with someone, married, or having children. They seem to have a happy life. One they share with people they care about; yet, I’m over here pushing people away so I can travel.
Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say pushing people away. It just seems to happen. I’m not ready to pack away my traveling pants to settle down. Why should I have to? I have no clue what’s happening in my life nor where I’m going next. All I know is that I’m trying to see the world and earn money at the same time. If someone wants to join me on the journey I’d welcome it gladly, but so far no one has that I can rely on. I had one man who was ready to jump on the plane with me. He was trying to escape, and I knew the exact feeling. That story is for another time though.
People look at me as if something’s wrong. Some even wonder if I’ve had suitors. Believe me, I have and none of them so far have been able to convince me to stay; except one. They all ask me to give up my life, my job, my dream of traveling to be with them. Other women would jump at this opportunity, but I can’t bring myself to do that. I can’t give up my love for working or traveling. It’s part of who I am.
Traveling is helping me figure out who I am, what I want, and where I want to be. Each time I’ve traveled I’ve learned something about myself. Mexico taught me that I don’t care for third world countries, and I love cleanliness. Scotland taught me that I can be happy again. It taught me to fall in love with reading and writing again. It taught me to love myself and how to feel again. Paris taught me my love for history went beyond the books. It taught me that home is not always the place you grew up in. Thailand has taught me it’s better to travel in Asia with someone beside you.
Along the way, I’ve met numerous interesting people. People who have changed my point of view on things in the world and opened my eyes to everything around me. Each person has a different story; each one unique and fascinating. It’s through them that I’ve fallen even more in love with traveling.
When you travel on your own, you meet more people. When you travel with friends or family, you tend to be secluded and miss out on things around you. That’s partially why it’s hard for me to give up on my passion for traveling on my own.
Besides, I’m used to being alone. It’s all I’ve ever really known and been comfortable with. Yes, I have friends and family who love and miss me and I them. But when it comes down to everything, I’m used to going my own way and paving my own path. It’s easier.
I’ve had friends tell me I’m crazy for what I do. The times I’ve complained about certain things, they’ve said to just call it quits and come home. All of them, save one, think I’m a fool for doing this. I packed my bags, jumped on the plane, and left for a third world country. Who in their right mind does that? Obviously, me. There’s only been a few friends who have truly supported me.
Yes, I will admit it’s hard flying across the world and living in a place where you know no one and can’t speak a lick of the language. But through all of this I’ve made numerous new friends, and I’ve met people I never would have before. Through them, I realized I’m not the only one who needed to escape or wants to just jump on a plane and travel. They make me realize I’m normal. I might not fit in the typical American dream, but I do fit in other places.
Okay, so Thailand might not be the place I fit in most, but among the farangs (foreigners) teachers I fit in. Traveling this far has made me realize who my friends are and aren’t. It’s made me realize where I might not want to live but would definitely visit again. It’s also made me realize I’m never going to stop trying. I can’t and won’t give up just because things get hard.
Here’s to all the young, single people who want to travel. You can do it. There are ways. Do it now before it’s too late. Do it now and create memories of a life time. There’s no time like now to find yourself. You won’t regret it!