Why Travelling Is Still Living In The Real World
When I was a girl my Dad used to tell me to do two things in life; go to university and travel the world. Naturally, the fact my Dad told me to want these things for myself meant I wanted to do neither. It wasn’t until I was sixteen and about to go to college that I warmed to the idea of university and aged nineteen I moved away to study. It was during my three years of studying for a degree in media that I decided the next to-do on my bucket list, was to travel the world. Yes, you were right Dad.
The truth is though, my wanderlust stemmed from a desire to break the routine of everyday life.
Often, it can feel like the type of life we will lead is paved out for us from a young age. As a woman who’s always been fairly academic, it would have been normal for me to finish uni, move to London or some other media hub and get stuck into a successful marketing career, before marrying and having a family. The trouble is, I found myself with this niggling feeling that the expected route was not for me. So I worked as a bar manager for two years then took off on a round-the-world trip with a like-minded female friend.
I was living out of a backpack, touring ancient archaeological sites, swimming the Great Barrier Reef, cycling Golden Gate Bridge, seeing everything in between and feeling the most alive and open-minded I’d ever felt. Along the way though, I found I was repeatedly confronted with the same question, “So, when are you going to join the real world?”
From what I can make of it, the definition of the ‘real world’ for many is a stable career, a mortgage, a car, marriage and kids. These are the benchmarks by which we live and judge our lives, because that’s what the generations before us have done. We mark our success in life against socially set goals; our first job, first car, first house and so on. Perhaps it’s just the defiant child in me, but it’s the thought of knowing these life achievements are pre-defined moments in my life that fuels my need to travel more!
Who’s to say what living in the real world actually means? I’ve worked since I was fifteen years old and, in between my multiple world trips, have been employed as marketing manager at one of the UK’s top B2B marketing agencies (hey Really B2B!).
In my opinion, living in the real world is about living in whatever way makes you happiest. Whether that means a high-flying career and a Mercedes Benz, as a stay-at-home mum of three, roaming from country to country with no set end destination in sight, or on a gap year tour of Asia. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all in our own real worlds and travel is just as much a reality as any other lifestyle.
If you agree with what you’ve read above, follow this blog for more thoughts and advice on travelling the world long-term!