A life of travel may be calling your name. – Monica Gray
Calling all daydreamers, wanderers, and nomads out there! Do you constantly find yourself lost in thought, dreaming about a place you miss or a place you’ve never been to? Are you wishing you were somewhere else, always moving, and never in one spot for too long?
I recently found a class assignment from school when I was eight years old. The teacher had asked us to write about two things we love. I wrote: I’m a lover of dogs and a lover of travel. I laughed when I found this- how did I know this when I was eight? I had only traveled to California to see family when I was that age. But even then, I knew something was calling my name. And now, as a 21-year-old, I can easily say that traveling is what makes me tick.
I know I’m not the only one with this type of experience. Many of you may have had something similar, or you may be meant for a life of travel and not even realize it. Here are seven signs that you were destined to travel.
1. You love taking chances and you don’t like routine
Whether you travel or not, you can’t stand doing the same thing over and over again. Maybe you get bored easily, or maybe the thought of doing something mundane makes you run away faster than you can say, “get me out of here!” You get excited when you don’t know where you’ll be sleeping that night, let alone if it’ll be in a bed. When you’re backpacking, there is no set routine, and you love that. You’re always looking for an opportunity to change up your day; maybe you take a different route to work or order something at a restaurant you’ve never even heard of before, or try the new cafe down the road you’ve always been wanting to try.
Someone asked me today, “How can you land in a place and have no idea what to do next?” It’s like solving a puzzle, you’re holding the piece but you don’t know if any of the pieces surrounding it are even on the board yet. Having no routine and no set plan is the same while traveling. You live by adventure and by taking chances; it makes you feel alive. And you know that by taking these chances, you’ll learn things about your character that you never knew before.
2. You consider more than one place your home
You don’t understand how someone can have only one home when there are thousands of cities out there that can easily become your second, fourth, or even eighth home! Ah, all of the places you can live in. You love imagining yourself waking up in your favorite city, knowing that once you wanted to change, you know where you’d go- another one of the many cities you consider your home.
You also have a second sense of knowing if you’ll like a city or not almost right away. Some of the time, a city will sweep you right off of your feet when you least expect it, and you’ll be falling head over heels for a place you’ve come to love. Almost right away I can tell if I can picture myself living in a certain city. When I landed in Copenhagen and saw everyone biking everywhere, I immediately knew that this was the type of lifestyle I would love to immerse myself in for an extended period of time.
3. You’d rather spend your money on something travel-related than anything else
A new pair of expensive shoes? But that could be a round trip flight ticket in Europe! Starbucks coffee? That’s a whole meal right there in Southeast Asia! I usually find myself weighing the value on what I’d rather spend- and I always choose travel. For me, I know that I would get a lot more out of a plane ticket somewhere than I would on something I may ruin (Stains love me. And so do broken zippers).
If you get total fulfillment on paying for experiences over anything else, travel may be calling your name. You would rather buy one big thing, such as a plane ticket, than many small things. Travel is a long term investment that will slowly pay you back- with knowledge, experiences, and an understanding of the world that you can’t learn in a textbook, or anywhere else.
4. You’d rather live out of a backpack than in a room
You know where everything is in your backpack, and you love living minimally. You have a few “whatever” outfits, a few nice outfits, your passport, etc., all in one place, and it’s a lot easier for you to be organized that way. Living out of a backpack also prevents you from having those unworn shoes and dresses with tags still on them shoved in the back of a closet that’s falling apart.
My backpack is in my room. My shirts, pants, shorts, bras, underwear, dresses, and shoes are all in one, messy compartment strapped to my back. I could spend one hour looking for one shirt in my room, or ten seconds finding the same shirt in my backpack. When you’re backpacking on the road, you need to have as little as possible.
5. You’ll try any food at least once
You’ll look at the menu, pick something with a strange name (or maybe something that sounds fun to say out loud; “I’d like the burgoo”), and prepare yourself for the worst. This is one of the best parts about traveling- the food. You know you may end up hating it, but you may have also found your new favorite dish. It always pays off to be adventurous with your food, and you learn so much about a culture just by trying one of their staple dishes.
One of my favorite memories is trying pig ears in Portugal. If you’re wondering, no, I did not enjoy them, I couldn’t get over the crunching cartilage part! But I will try anything, at least once.
6. You know what’s important to you and what isn’t
You appreciate everything you have and are happy having just that. You love not having a superfluous amount of miscellaneous items because they’re not important to you. You know that having less is having more because it allows you to have certain experiences that let you grow as a person. Material items become of minimal importance, while experiences become a staple.
Like I said in number four, backpackers on the road need to have as little as possible. Less is more in this case. Traveling and items have an inverse relationship: The more you travel, the less you need.
7. You’re always wondering and wandering
You have an urgent need to discover the unknown. You’re always wondering what an unexplored place is like, and you always find yourself wandering through the world, your eyes clouded with curiosity and excitement. For you, this exploration can take place somewhere you’ve lived your entire life or an entirely new city thousands of miles away. The important thing is that you love learning about it. You love exploring new cities and having new experiences. You love the fact that you may find a beautiful hidden waterfall in a park a few hours from your home or discover old ruins in a city across the world.
Travel is about exploring other places, cultures, or people, but ultimately, you end up learning more about yourself. Traveling fills your soul and leaves you wanting more. If this thought resonates with you, then you know you’re destined to travel.
About the Author
Monica is a part-time wanderer, full-time dreamer that prefers living out of a backpack to literally anything else. Most of the time, you’ll catch her either looking up flights or writing in her journal. Follow her journey around the globe as she finds the strange, the beautiful, and the ugly at www.globe-trottica.com, where she hopes to inspire you to do the same.
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