Thursday, 9 March 2017

GUEST POST: 'Why I Love Travel' by Anthony Wright

I've always been amazed by people who travel, because I feel as though I don't have the money, time or organisation skills required to do it. My passport has been expired for three years, and I've been meaning to get it updated for almost two!
AJ, my very close friend from New Zealand, constantly travels back and forth to Australia. He always tells me the best stories about the places he's been, the things he's discovered and the friends that he's made along the way.
I'll pass you over to AJ. He's going to tell us the reasons he loves to travel: hopefully he'll inspire some of us to see more of the world!
When I was a young boy, my mother took me into the city to see a marching band. The city being Preston, in England, about 18,619km away from the wine-obsessed town I call home. I was about 5, this was the first time in my life I had left New Zealand, and evidently I didn't get my shots, as I've since become infected with a travel bug that hasn't gone away in nearly two decades.
I've spent a large portion of my life putting travelling at the forefront of everything I do. Every holiday is planned out meticulously, every activity is researched and paid for with each week's paycheck, I live off of a university diet just to afford to spend more time on the road, and in my downtime I watch travel documentaries more often than an excitable cat would run up and down the hallway at 4am in the morning. 
However, when I speak to others about this passion of mine, they often ask "Why though? You have more money than sense, why don't you start saving for a house, a car, a degree?" So here's a quick list on why I travel, and why you should too. 
1. New Experiences
Perhaps the biggest reason I travel is so I can come home and tell some semi-interesting stories. Imagine going up to a long-time friend and saying "So we went to this street market and my mate decides we should buy the weirdest thing on the menu. Next thing you know we're eating roasted scorpion off a kebab stick!". Step into the unknown, get out of your comfort zone, and be open to new experiences as they will happen a lot while you're out and about. If you've never gone diving, skiing or spelunking, do it now. The experiences will last forever, and the memories will continue to taste as good as that emu jerky. 
2. Different Days
I absolutely loathe walking the same street to the same work and doing the same tasks day in day out. While I'm travelling this isn't an issue as everything is all brand new. Sometimes curiosity will get the better of you, and you'll walk a direction you've never been before just because "That looks different, what's over there?". Sometimes these decisions are where the best memories come from as well, as they often contain hidden gems. 
3. Mental Health Remedy
I'm less depressed when I'm away from home, and less anxious too. I'm taking in the sights, the sounds, the smells, and thinking to myself how great it is to be able to experience all of this. I love the euphoria and excitement, and when I'm back home I long to be gone again. Ever since I started travelling my anxiety and depression have been significantly easier to contain and I hope the trend continues. 
4. Other People's Stories
Everyone has one to tell; why they're travelling, what brought them to this country, what they do back home. While you're travelling you will meet with lots of people from all walks of life and their stories will greatly impact you. Talk to that person next to you on the plane, stay at hostels, whenever there's a tour group just sit and talk and listen. Their knowledge is incredibly enriching and a good way to have somewhere to stay all over the world if you play your cards right.
5. Life's Too Short
I don't understand why people fall into the same routine. Get up, go to work, come home, repeat until marriage, get a house, get kids, work every hour to pay for said child. Too many people I know live their lives to work, and work their lives to live like everyone else. I don't want to be everyone else. I have no need for a house yet. I don't want to fit with the rest of society in this mundane existence where small talk is the only talk you'll ever get. The world is vast, and beautiful, and I've got 40 years left to see it all. I want to make the most of it, I want to see it all. I want to haggle in a Moroccan market, climb the steps at Machu Picchu, find out whatever the hell is in Burundi. I don't want to settle down, not while I'm still young, healthy and fit. I won't settle down.
Anthony is a 23-year-old bartender whose home is where his feet are. Although knowledgeable on all things music, football and alcohol, his passion for travel is second to none.
A huge thank you to AJ for this guest post (and for triggering my uncontrollable wanderlust...). 
Now, lovely readers: which place would you like to visit more than any other in the world?

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