“Did you know, you can quit your job, you can leave university? You aren’t legally required to have a degree, it’s a social pressure and expectation, not the law, and no one is holding a gun to your head. You can sell your house, you can give up your apartment, you can even sell your vehicle, and your things that are mostly unnecessary. You can see the world on a minimum wage salary, despite the persisting myth, you do not need a high paying job. You can leave your friends (if they’re true friends they’ll forgive you, and you’ll still be friends) and make new ones on the road. You can leave your family. You can depart from your hometown, your country, your culture, and everything you know. You can sacrifice. You can give up your $5.00 a cup morning coffee, you can give up air conditioning, frequent consumption of new products. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home, and eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them away. You can give up cable TV, Internet even. This list is endless. You can sacrifice climbing up in the hierarchy of careers. You can buck tradition and others’ expectations of you. You can triumph over your fears, by conquering your mind. You can take risks. And most of all, you can travel. You just don’t want it enough. You want a degree or a well-paying job or to stay in your comfort zone more. This is fine, if it’s what your heart desires most, but please don’t envy me and tell me you can’t travel. You’re not in a famine, in a desert, in a third world country, with five malnourished children to feed. You probably live in a first world country. You have a roof over your head, and food on your plate. You probably own luxuries like a cellphone and a computer. You can afford the $3.00 a night guest houses of India, the $0.10 fresh baked breakfasts of Morocco, because if you can afford to live in a first world country, you can certainly afford to travel in third world countries, you can probably even afford to travel in a first world country. So please say to me, “I want to travel, but other things are more important to me and I’m putting them first”, not, “I’m dying to travel, but I can’t”, because I have yet to have someone say they can’t, who truly can’t. You can, however, only live once, and for me, the enrichment of the soul that comes from seeing the world is worth more than a degree that could bring me in a bigger paycheck, or material wealth, or pleasing society. Of course, you must choose for yourself, follow your heart’s truest desires, but know that you can travel, you’re only making excuses for why you can’t. And if it makes any difference, I have never met anyone who has quit their job, left school, given up their life at home, to see the world, and regretted it. None. Only people who have grown old and regretted never traveling, who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, who have realized too late that there is so much more to living than this.”
This goes out to all of the people who have been broken but have been strong enough to let go. For the people who have hurt so badly that they felt they could never love again, but kept their head up. For those who feel like going back to their old lover would put all the pieces back where they belong and everything would fit, but accept the cold hard truth instead. For the people that learn from their mistakes and never stop moving forward, even when they take two steps back. For the people that wish loneliness wasn’t a part of them, but put up with it anyhow. For the people that are okay with taking up all of the room in the bed, even if sometimes it feels a little empty. For the people who wake up in the morning with no missed calls, but smile anyway. For the people that periodically miss the past, but are so much more excited for the future. For the people that have wounds still healing. For the people that have so much tied to their past relationship, but break those chains to start fresh. For the people that want to look back so badly, but focus on the road ahead. For the people that pick up the phone so tempted to call, but keep their dignity in tact instead. For the people that never wanted to let go, but had to. For the people that still believe in love even after all of the hurt their heart has endured. For all the people that gave up not because they were weak, but because most times it’s better just to let go.