Something that I hear a lot of is “I wish I could travel, but…” and this is always followed by any number of reasons why they think they should stay put. Of course, there can sometimes be genuine reasons that someone can’t travel, but for the most part, I believe you need to learn how to be selfish, and just do it. In these changing times, travelling has become a race against the clock to see the best of this world before it disappears.
Back in January 2013, I travelled to Nepal to teach English for a month in Kathmandu. My hosts were fantastic, and took my around all the best sites in the city; the 3 Durbur Squares, Monkey Temple, Swayumbhunath and shopping in Thamel. Sadly, after the big earthquake last year, many of these beautiful and historic landmarks were damaged, or even destroyed. Seeing these images on the news channels brought tears to my eyes, as I realised that no-one else would be able to experience them for the first time like I did. This really reminded me that facing your fears and jumping on that flight can be one of the best decisions of your life.
Swayumbhunath Temple before (My picture) and after (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters via the telegraph)
Basantapur Durbur Sqaure before (my picture) and after (Bernat Armangue/AP via the telegraph)
Travelling allows you to experience a different culture and way of life to your own. In many countries, finding the real experiences you might crave can be difficult in these modern times. With more and more tourists, lots of countries are watering down some of their culture in order to appeal to this growing market. This is not all bad, as it can make certain aspects of your travels much easier, but it does mean that some traditional activites are becoming harder for a traveller to find.
So go now. Explore, discover, and make memories. Because tomorrow might be too late.
Featured image – The pillar in Basantapur Durbur Square 2013