Pack Up & Go!
It’s been one hell of a journey for me. After months of travelling in Europe, I finally stepped through the gates of the airport of my hometown, into the arms of my loving family.
But, I came back to Malaysia with an almost empty bank account.
Due to my very active presence on social media, many people saw my photos and started to shoot me with these questions, “Hey, did you even gain anything from your trip?” “Why didn’t you spend time working during your holidays instead?” “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” “Are you not saving up for your future?”
Yes, darlings, I am pretty damn sure about what I am doing. I am investing my money on experiences by travelling as much as I can. Know what? What I have gained from my trip is a whole lot more valuable than what I have learnt throughout my entire life.
I have gained beautiful memories that will always be uniquely mine. I can vividly remember the elation I had when I saw snow for the first time in my life in Kahlenberg, Austria. When in France, I was awestruck by the majestic French Alps and I didn’t even want to blink my eyes. I enjoyed it so much when I was ice skating for the first time (although I fell for a few times) in front of a medieval castle in Budapest, Hungary.
I had the best night out with strangers from Japan, Libya, Spain, Argentina and a lot of other countries in Berlin, which now I call friends. I still remember that Latvian guy who offered me some beers when all the bottle shops are closed when I was in Amsterdam. I met wonderful locals who invited me over for a proper Christmas dinner when I was in Prague, Czech Republic. I met a French dude who offered me a helicopter ride for free when I was in Nice, France. The magnificent view of Côte d’Azur is even more jaw-dropping when viewing from above.
People always say that taking a long solo trip will help you find yourself. And this is very true. This sounds a little bit cliché but after the trip, I start to know more about me. I learnt to love myself for who I am. And the most important bit? I know what I want to do in the future to prevent any regrets.
Being a full-time university student, I don’t have a lot of extra money to travel. I don’t even have that much time to travel. But I always try to save up as much as I can and make travel happen because I what I see in the hospital every day is enough to motivate me to pack up and go.
I am a medical student placed in palliative care ward. I see people die every day. But you know what’s more depressing? Learning from them that they still have so many things that they want to achieve, but they can never achieve it anymore. Each and every one of us was born into this world with nothing and everyone’s going to leave with nothing. So, what matters most is the thing you do in between. Are you doing something that will make you go “hey, my life is pretty awesome!” when you are about to kick the bucket?
The reality is, some of us are not even gonna make it to our old age. So pack up and go now! Travel when you are young and able. What do you have to lose? Money? Travel is not always expensive. You can always earn money back, but you cannot earn your youth back anymore. Family and friends? They will be waiting for you. Time? Travelling is not a waste of time, it builds you. Job? There are so many online job opportunities in this age and you can even work when you are travelling.
If there are still a thousand reasons stopping you from travelling, I bet those reasons are not gonna go away even in 5, 10 or even 20 years’ time. And then you look back, you realise that it’s too late.
If you do not see the world right now, when will you?