Lara Lain left her glitzy career in the media behind in January 2014 with a one way ticket to Thailand…she ended up going around the world twice, visiting over 10 countries, working in Australia and New Zealand and volunteering in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup on route.
Lara had never travelled before but knew there was ”more of the world” she wanted to see. She had worked at LOOK magazine for nearly four years and left a life she loved in London to pursue a world of the unknown.
She wants to inspire others to follow their dreams and to show that once you book that ticket you never look back. Lara moves to Thailand for six months on 11th November ”the plan is, there is no plan”.
In this week’s column, Lara of blog Larasstory, explains the 18 reasons why travel might be your perfect next step.
You’ve holidayed with family. You’ve spent long weekends away with friends. You’ve day-dreamed about leaving the world behind as you know it. You’ve considered it but you’ve never done it. Not yet. Here are some reasons why travel may be for you.
1. You are ”safe”
Your job is ”good”, you’re ”happy” with where you live, you have a nice circle of friends. Blah! Life is bumbling along, but it’s not a challenge anymore – nothing is testing you. You need something more!
2. You are single
Single by choice or perhaps you’ve got a messy breakup to deal with? Whatever the circumstances, you don’t have to answer to anyone. Hitting the road will open your eyes to a new world filled with fresh faces every day. If you need time to heal you will find that nothing hurts as much when you have a map full of possibilities in hand. You’re almost guaranteed to find new forms of love on the road, fun kinds of love that won’t ruin your future! There are so many people out there on the same wave length as you, you just haven’t crossed paths with them yet.
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3. You have money
You’ve been quietly saving and your bank balance looks pretty healthy but it’s just sitting there, looking healthy. You’re not ready to invest it in anything ‘serious’ just yet. You’re young. A house can wait. Those pound signs scream F U N! – turn that money into irreplaceable life experiences. Money comes and goes, time waits for no one.
4. You’re surrounded by material things
Ok, so maybe you don’thave a stash of cash burning a hole in your back pocket butyou might have a car or a wardrobe full of clothes you don’t really need. Once you start to look around at what you own vs what you can’t live without you quickly realise you don’t use half of it after all. eBay, car boot sales, selling bits to friends, there are so many easy ways to expand your piggy bank before you set off.
5. It’s easy, oh so easy
When you get the ball rolling and decide to turn your thoughts into reality its actually very simple to take on your new life as a traveller. Take the heat off by booking through a specialised travel company. STA will help you to arrange that round-the-world ticket that you’ll never regret. Companies like Top Deck can assist with epic jam packed trips with like minded people. Put your morals to one side and get on the ”Naked Bus” through New Zealand!
6. Everyone Else Is Doing It
Travel is trending, trending big time! Now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon and see what ”all the fuss is about”. Travel is getting more popular for a reason – it is one of the best things you will ever do in your entire life. Fact.
7. Be the trail blazer
No one else in your family has travelled – this is your chance to be the story teller for the next generation. Christmases at home when you’re older will be filled with fun. ”This one time in Queenstown…”. Not only will you be able to entertain your loved ones with quips of what reallyhappened when you were farming in Australia but you will be able to pass your wisdom on to help them with their adventures too. Once you’ve travelled you will want your cousins, kids, grandkids to do the same one day – knowing it will improve their life in more ways than you can describe. Travel is a feeling, to be experienced, not just discussed.
8. Everyone is good
Your family and friends are happy and healthy, now is a great time to go. It pays to remember that if you need to be home for anything important you are just a flight away. Don’t let yourself be overcome by the guilt of ”missing this” or ”not being here” for that. Sometimes you do have to be a little tiny bit selfish and theres nothing wrong there. You need to live your life for you.
9. City life is crushing you
Fed up with being squished on the tube? Jaded by the fact that strangers on the street are just that? When you travel everyone is more open, warmer. You have a world of friendly, cheerful dispositions at your finger tips.
TV time? No thanks, I’m going for a run around Lake Wakatipu, NZ
10. Your body yearns for a break
You want to feel the sand between your toes and to see a tan on your skin. Not wearing makeup every day sounds appealing too. Shopping the ASOS swimwear sale in November? Because ”I’ll be living in my bikini, there’s no point in packing much else”, sounds awful doesn’t it! These jokes we make about ”living the dream”, well, they are not jokes. They are reality.
11. Your mind needs a refresh
Commuting. Sitting at your desk. Sometimes you feel like your computer is glued to your face. If it’s not work it’s your phone going off constantly. You love keeping in touch with your world and couldn’t imagine nothaving access to social media but the idea of waking up in a paradise where the ”wifi is rubbish, sorry I haven’t been in touch for a few days” sounds kinda damn great already! Cocktails on order for £2? Warm salty water lapping at your feet? Time in Vietnam you say? Yes please!
12. Working abroad makes you a better candidate
If you are worried about leaving your job behind, don’t be! Look at things differently – you could gain training with global companies in amazing places like Australia! You can expand your skill set as well as life experience. Travel can be used as an advantage for your working life too! Once you’re done with work for the day you can hit the beach and keep your body on the move. Evenings spent in front of the TV will become a thing of the past.
13. You are braver than you think
You’ve overcome obstacles in your life, no one else has walked in your shoes. You’ve graduated / you’ve qualified in your chosen career path. You have the paperwork to prove it. No one can take that away from you. Reflecting on life so far you’ve done more than you realise. Travel is a new realm. An unknown way to push yourself to new limits. You can do this.
14. You deserve it
You don’t need to justify this one to yourself. You owe you some ”me time”. Not just Friday night cocktails with the girls or a lie in on a Saturday morning. This is your chance to put you first, every.single.day.
15. You have time off
Ok, so maybe hitting the road for a year isn’t possible for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t travel. You can cram a lot it to a short amount of time if you plan ahead. Backpack Thailand for two weeks and you can easily visit seven different places if you fly everywhere. Plan in advance and you can experience ‘life on the road’ in a short time. Give yourself the chance to be immersed into traveller culture then on your return you can plan your next get away. Be warned. Once you get the taste there will be more to come. Don’t shy away from your instinct – embrace the feeling!
16. There is nothing stopping you
When you think about it, you have the freedom to leave. Why wouldn’t you go? List the reasons for staying. List the reasons for going. Pros will outweigh the cons tenfold. ‘Stay at home, work myself to the ground, freeze until summer’ / ‘Book that ticket, start 2016 somewhere new, sun kissed and fancy free’ … it’s a no brainer.
17. ‘Regret’ isn’t a term you’re keen on. You don’t want to look back and say ”I wish…”
18. You’ve clicked on this post so it’s already a sign that seeing more of our glorious world may be what you are destined for at some point. You’ve considered it before you read this and now, taking in all of the above its starting to make sense. This a train of thought that may well niggle you for the rest of your life if you don’t pursue it. Don’t let your day dreams be day dreams.