Tired of reading through my blogposts? You don’t have time to properly get educated about the beauty of travel or are in serious need of some distraction during your morning commute?
I have the ultimate solution for you: The World Wanderers Podcast! A weekly podcast run by two Canadians, Amanda and Ryan. I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda in person while traveling through Alberta, Canada last July.
Amanda and Ryan describe themselves as 20 something’s with a passion for travel, living live to the fullest and finding happiness in all corners of the world. Sounds familiar? Yep, that’s how I also tend to describe myself. So if you like my blog you’ll LOVE the podcast.
In 2014, the two wanderers decided to leave their “big kid jobs” and dedicate their lives to traveling, their first stop being South America. Since then they live and breathe an insatiable urge to travel and share their experiences with us. Travel has changed and impacted them in a positive way, has forever shaped the way they see the world and last but not least, while traveling they have managed to discover what it means to be truly happy.
To end with their very own words: Join them as they explore, learn, grown and seek happiness through travel and adventure!
I can’t believe it. It has already been two years since I started this blog. It all started with a trip to Bolivia, to see my best friend from my all-consuming, incredible and once in a lifetime experience in Oklahoma. The journey to Bolivia was my first ever solo trip and it made me learn so much about myself and the world and experience South America’s beauty for the first time. Another continent crossed off my bucket list! We ventured around La Paz, spent some days at the Salar de Uyuni salt flats and I took an overnight bus trip to see Sucre on my own.
The rest of the summer was filled with trips around Germany, a week in Ibiza and a long awaited trip to Santorini, one of the most heart-warming, dazzling and enchanting places on this earth. Exploring this tiny island by hiking from one end to the other and enjoying utter tranquility and the natural beauty of the island just left me breathless.
Then it was time to prepare for another adventure: a year in Wales, finishing my Master’s degree in Cardiff. Little did I know that I would find my soul sisters, two incredible souls that I know will never leave my side, wherever life will take us. We share something real, something that is beyond words, beyond this world and even beyond my imagination. Definitely changed for good! I finished off the year with a trip to Dublin, Ireland to spend some time with my dear friend Susann to ring in the Christmas time.
Besides meeting incredible friends from all over the world, I got to experience that Wales is a truly underrated country. The landscapes, cities and people in Wales are so much more than beautiful, I cannot wait to come back this summer! I also got the opportunity to go back to Greece and see Athens, Cape Sounio and the Kaisariani Monastery. Despite being robbed my adventurous spirit made me make the best of it!
During my time in Wales I was lucky to travel to Canada for my best friend’s wedding. I definitely left my heart there and hopefully I’ll be back rather sooner than later to go and collect it. I can’t wait to be back in Alberta, meander windy roads around the Rocky Mountains and just LIVE.
2015 got even better once I handed it my dissertation and left Cardiff for good. I jumped on a plane to Southeast Asia with my best friend and soulmate Nicole to start our first backpacking trip around Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. It is safe to say that I more than fell in love with backpacking and taking the day one hour at a time, truly relishing the bliss of having the day at your disposal and enjoying a time off without responsibilities.
The incredible and eventful year wrapped up with a huge surprise. I got invited to go on a roadtrip through Japan! Never would I have imagined to get the opportunity to travel even more that year. I will forever be grateful and humble for this opportunity and wouldn’t want to miss the experience for the world. I got to admire Japanese architecture, eat carefully crafted dishes day in and day out and experience the craziness and mind-blowing size of Tokyo.
The new year started on a more slow note. I am incredibly happy to have found a full-time job and I even got to take a little trip over Easter, recharging from the craziness of everyday life in the Netherlands.
I am more than positive that this year and this life has so much more to offer and I cannot wait for all the experiences to come and to share them with you! Happy Birthday on wanderlust!
So there’s a book that’s called “Die Ländersammlerin”, written by Nina Sedano, a woman that says she is the most well traveled woman in Germany, she literally collects countries.
It’s almost been a year since I got this book and today I would like to share an excerpt of the book’s prologue with you as there is no text that has ever captured my thoughts and my true essence as much as this. Nina Sedano seems married to her adventures just as I am and her hunger for the unknown seems just as boundless as mine. So here it goes:
It all starts with a prologue and a woman without roots.
It is September 30th, 2011. I am 45 years, 7 months and 11 days old and I made it – finally!
I have reached my personal goal, the one that I set myself only five years ago : I have traveled to all 193 countries recognized by the United Nations. I didn’t ever doubt myself or my enormous willpower but I expected to somehow fail because of the entry requirements of some countries. Just now I am coming back from Turkmenistan, the last country on my long list.
[…] I want to travel, explore the world, experience everything myself, smell, taste and hear, enlargen my horizon, dive deep into new cultures and try to understand the people around me. Whenever I travel I know no solitude. Being homesick is also a foreign feeling to me. At home, surrounded by my oh-so familiar four walls I experience cabin fever and the urge to wander.
Why do I feel this need to go and visit all countries on our planet? Why doesn’t it suffice to read about traveling, watch documentaries about faraway places? The typical 30 day annual leave you get as an office worker will never be enough for me even though I often manage to stretch them out to 80 days and try to relish those few days as much as possible. […]
My willingness to leave everything behind and travel the world evokes different feelings in the people around me. There are some that even go as far as saying that I am fleeing from something – myself and my problems. I am definitely not trying to run away from myself, I would never be fast enough. I rather try to escape people that do not fathom my adventurous spirit, name me a gadabout and regard me as a failure for being 36 years old and quitting my job. I always have my goals in sight, in the world and in my life so their opinions are a strange concept to me.
On my journey I have learned that every country is different just as every human on this planet is different. It is essential to me to talk to these people from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. To laugh with them, listen to them. I also truly need my friends and family back home that do not begrudge my lifestyle.
Until today, I have crossed many borders. And by that I do not mean only those borders that wrap around countries. Living this life I also challenge my emotional and physical limits. Those experiences are the ones that count the most and enrich my soul every day.
Traveling is my elixir whenever life gets tough. Being on the road all over the world I feel alive with every threat of my soul and every bone of my body. I feel that I am alive and not only exist. You have to make the best of the most tricky and dodgy situations, conform with local customs and practices, use foreign tongues to talk to foreign people, ask them for advice, trust them and myself and take everything with a little sense of humour.
A journey into the world is always a journey to yourself.
I have to say that I often need a little time until I get used to a book and its author. But Nina Sedano really captured my attention with the first words she wrote. In the course of the book she explains how she first traveled to a foreign country as a child and then eventually decides to travel the world. A definite must read!
Most of my blogposts veer around the topic of finding bliss. That violent urge of discovering what makes me tick and what sets my soul on fire. Buried deep in my soul I know what that is. I know that I will never ever be able to settle for the life that society expects us to lead. Imagining my life 10 or 15 years from now, I can’t picture living any other lifestyle than the one I am currently following.
You might ask – how does she want to do it? Don’t you ever deliberate settling down, creating a family and building a house? Currently, the sheer thought of building a house 15 years from now gives me shivers. Literally chaining myself to one place is unimaginable for me right now. And having children? Hell yeah. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit this lifestyle of dedicating a life to travel. The most impressive example for this is Adam Baker. After his first child was born, he discovered he felt the way that I do when I think of building a house. So he asked himself “what is freedom?”. What does freedom mean to every single one of us? Posing this question changed his life. Up until then, life decisions circled around questions about upgrading items in his life – the TV, an apartment, clothes and the like. Suddenly he and his wife found themselves trapped in a life they just unintentionally fell into. But were they happy? They decided they weren’t. They realised that they were living their lives according to a default script that they hadn’t chosen themselves. So they left. They sold everything and traveled the world with their child. If they can, I can do it as well.
Adam’s story is the most inspiring story I have heard in a long time. I don’t want to live a life purely for the sake of working, coming home late at night and counting the days until the next weekend or the next big trip. Just as author Nigel Marsh believes, I am not looking for a job that I hate to buy things that I don’t need to impress people that I don’t like. For me, experiences count more than items. I want to spend my money on experiences that feed my soul. In my case, that is traveling.
But what Adam and I are trying to tell you is not that you should sell all your crap and leave your home if this is not what you are craving. We are rather asking you to constantly remind yourself that you only have this one life and should better make the best of it. The worst thing we can do is settle with the second best option. If you know your passion, follow it. What would you do if money wasn’t an obstacle? If you can answer this question, do not ignore your passion. Get out there and follow it. You need to define what freedom looks like for you. And even if you don’t completely quit your current lifestyle, constantly urge for more.
Instead of mindlessly spending money on crap that you don’t need, invest it in your passion. Free yourself from the idea that acquiring things makes you happy. For me, knowing that there are tons of things I haven’t used in years makes me sick. I’d rather only own a backpack or a suitcase of belongings that I cherish and need instead of piling up hordes of crap around me. Why should we identify ourselves with physical things? In my opinion, the exact opposite is true. Happiness is a state of being, not of having. Starting today, imagine what your life could like if you started collecting experiences and not things.
My solemn pledge is not to wake up to an alarm clock but to a life and a job I truly love, doing work that I actually care about. Thank you Adam Baker.
This is not an entirely travel or wanderlust related post as the end of the year always encourages me to reflect on all that’s happened in the last 365 days. As for me, many of those days and endless thoughts and daydreams were and always are defined by a violent urge to explore the world. As the quote above says, it really is what sets my soul on fire. That’s why I have the solemn pledge to dedicate my existence to travel.
This year has been especially eventful in many ways and there is one lesson that is connected to everything that I encountered this year: stay calm and everything will figure itself out. 2015 taught me this lesson very early on with me getting robbed in Athens. Instead of freaking out and wishing to go home, I gathered my thoughts and decided to enjoy my time in Greece even more. I was determined not to give other people the freedom of pulling the strings of my happiness.
Sitting here on the last day of 2015, I can connect the dots even further. Especially right now, staying calm is what I need to do. I should have learned by now that the best things in life come super unexpected, just as my most recent trip to Japan. Who would have thought that after trips around Wales, loving life in rural Canada and roaming Southeast Asia I would get another opportunity to travel this year? I did and I am so grateful for fate fueling my life continuously.
Right now, at the edge of 2015 and with 2016 in sight, I find myself in a phase that seems all-consuming, confusing, exciting and nerve-racking. Being a recent Masters graduate, I am about to leap off into a phase of my life that seems to determine my existence. From time to time, this utterly terrifies me. But just as I did with my travels, I am just going to center myself, take a deep breath and believe in whatever comes along will set my soul on fire. And I will not settle before I find it. Happy 2016!