“An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone.”
Some people who read this will think I’m a kind of hippie or a fool to spend my most of my money on traveling but it’s not that crazy when you read all of it. I’ll explain why I rather want to travel instead of buying cool fancy stuff.
Experiences are the things that stay with you, it’s something no one will take away.
The places I visited, the people I met, the bad or good experiences I gained made me the person I am now.
I’m not talking about only travel experiences but also everything you do like just living your life, working, having a family. Those are all experiences. But for me, the most memorable experiences I got was when I was traveling. That’s why I rather spend my money on traveling than on tangible stuff. I tell you, I don’t spend my money on only travel, of course, I also spend money on things and not too long ago I made the biggest purchase of my life, my camera. Photography, videography is my passion that is bigger than traveling. I combine those two passions for what I believe and hope to be my future.
Since I was a small kid I was all about doing stuff, go outside being adventurous. I never traveled a lot with family or friends when I was young, we weren’t blessed with a lot of money to go somewhere or to buy expensive things. So I didn’t travel too far places, we did small trips in Belgium like family weekends or go for a hike somewhere but nothing that was further than our neighbor countries. We were a happy family, we didn’t need much. The fortunate thing was that my parents used to travel a lot and they gave me the travel mindset.
My first big travel experience was when I was 14 years old, my brother and I traveled to Spain together for 2 weeks. What might have been a game changer for me was a year later when I traveled to Canada on my own to visit my brother. I worked the whole summer to buy my flight ticket. Here is where my eyes and mind opened and where I discovered the world is a big place with a lot of people.
I’ve learned a lot more about myself, people and life than I ever would have learned if I stayed in university.
When I was 18 years old I started studying Industrial engineering in my university, it was always my idea of life to become one. After 15 months I gave up on that idea because I felt I was wasting my time. I wasn’t a good student and I was not doing the stuff I was supposed to do. Never the less, I had a good time and I met a lot of people.
I started working and I got a lot of life experience, like people skills, how to work under a boss, what it is to provide for yourself, … I had time now to do what I wanted, instead of being stuck to the school-life. I made short trips to Paris, Ireland, South France, … After those two years of working, I decided to make my biggest trip in my life, I went to New Zealand what changed me a lot.
Experience is for life, things aren’t
The experiences I gained while traveling I will remember forever! Material things will break or get lost.
There is not much more to say about it. Very often when I’m did something crazy like surfing behind a dingy on a paddleboard or when I did something memorable like climbing all the way to the top of a mountain I think like “I can tell this to my children later and be the coolest dad ever” I don’t think my children would look up to me when I tell them I had this cool sportscar when I was young. I want to fill my life with stories to tell, not stuff to show.
Broaden your perspective
When you go to another place or country, things aren’t going to be the same then you are used to. Food may be different, people are different, whole other lifestyles, expectation differentiate from yours, … These things will make you open-minded, accepting and even humble.
When I went to Canada I saw that the stereotypical over-friendliness of the people is a fact and it’s so different from the Belgian people.
Aussies and Kiwis are really chill people, they are not as rushed than I used to know people.
Turkish people are very open and tell you everything that’s on their mind, they will also drive you over in traffic if you are not careful.
Meeting new people
While I was traveling I met a lot of people, there were superficial meetings but I also made friends for life all over the world. Talking to these people gave me new perspectives. Most of the fellow travelers you meet have the same mindset than you. They are traveling to meet new people and gain new experiences too. Hanging out with these people inspired me to do more! I met Ethan from the US, a fellow blogger who I collaborated with for a video. I met Krista from Canada who is a talented photographer. I met Elin from Finland who studies film and is also into photography. Working together with them gave me a lot of new views on the things that I already loved to do.
Apart from meeting people with the same mindset, you meet the locals with other mindsets. You’ll have to adapt to other situations than you’re used to, what is a whole experience on its own.
When I started working and I got a lot of life experience, like people skills, how to work under a boss, what it is to provide for yourself, …
When I started traveling I learned so much about myself, cultures, cuisines, lifestyles, environments, … There are so many other things then you think you know. I got in situations that changed my view on certain things in a whole other way. For my friends, it was hard to understand when I told them I dropped out university and I wanted to travel. I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I made the right decision but when I got out there and had all these new experiences, I was sure I made the right decision.
Regret what I haven’t done instead of what I have done
Have you ever heard of FOMO? Fear Of Missing Out? I have it.
Basically, it means that you are scared that you will miss out on a good time. For example, you are partying with friends but you are really tired. You don’t want to go home because you think something memorable will happen or that your friends gonna have a lot of fun. That the next day when you see them they are going to tell you all about all the cool things they did, that’s a fear of mine.
Now I think of it, experience and fun is a big addiction to me.
I want to do and experience as much as possible. Am I later going to regret I haven’t traveled to Peru because I bought this new car? I don’t want to live with the thought ‘What if?’ What if I went there instead of choosing the safe option and just spend my money on something new that I think will make me happy.
Things can create experiences
Some things will give you memorable experiences. What I remember when I was 12 years old was that I bought a skateboard. I could choose to go to Disneyland in Paris or buy this board. I’m happy I chose the board, I created a lot of experiences and sensations with it, it was also a medium to meet new people. I want to make clear that my mind is not only set on travel and experiences because that’s not true. My camera is another example as a medium to gain a lot of experiences, it can be a common thing between people to meet each other.
And obviously, it’s impossible to live without possessions and everybody will have their things. I just want to explain where my priorities are. I have an expensive camera and laptop because I want to create content with this. My phone? I have a 180 euro Motorola Moto 3G, I bought the same of a friend of mine for 100 euros although my first one still works, just in case the first one breaks. I’m really happy with this phone and I can use it for what I need so I can be online, take a quick picture when I need to and listen to music when I like. I don’t need a 600-800 euro iPhone, I would be too careful with it, I would be scared to break or lose it. When I’m out on an adventure I want to use my equipment not have to care about doing something to it. The phone I have now isn’t too expensive and can take a hit. Some things are unnecessary to have but that’s my personal opinion and I don’t judge people having other priorities, something I learned out of experiences. Don’t judge people because you have another opinion or view on it.
The person who I am now
The places I visited, the people I met, the bad or good experiences I gained made me the person I am now. More tangible stuff won’t make me a more enjoyable person, the opposite I would say.
I love experiencing and I’m not only talking about travel experiences but also everything you do like just living your life, working, having a family. Those are all experiences. In my case the most memorable experiences, good and bad, I got when I was traveling and I want to prioritize those.
You can call me a travel addict, I can’t wait to see more of the world and experience every bit of it.
Let me know what your opinion is on all of this, travel or things? What would it be if you had to make a choice?