Ok, deceiving heading – I know. Let me be clear I’m not saying travelling the world is not for everyone (hey clickbait), on the contrary. I think you should travel as much as you can, as far as you can, for as long as you can. However, time and time again I get the same question; “Why would you ever give up travelling the world?” – And my answer? Well I suppose that needs to be phrased carefully.
Let me take you back a bit here, straight after I finished my undergrad degree I found myself on a plane to Dubai, where I would live & work as an air hostess for the following 18 months. Truth be told it was a situation I found myself in quite suddenly, I probably hadn’t given it all the thought I ought to have but none the less I thought I’d go with it and see how it turned out. So, 22 year old me sat in row 43 of a bowing 777 out of Dublin airport full of expectations and wonder. Over the next 18 months I travelled far and wide, I was paid to bring people from A to B and the perks included me getting to see all of these wonderful destinations, in total 38 countries and over 50 cities. On top of that I lived in the cosmopolitan capital of Dubai surrounded by the most extravagant of everything and emerged in a society of hundreds of nationalities and cultures. From the outside in it was “The Life” I was told I was “Living the Life”…
Now I’m not going to say all of those expectations fell short, nor will I say it was not the best experience of my life, because it was, it was the best experience of my life.. (thus far I might add – I’ve even attached a video below to show you)
But that is exactly what it was, an experience, an experience isn’t your whole life. It was only recently when watching a documentary called “The Last Lecture” in which Professor Randy Pausch delivered his last ever lecture after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 3 months to live, something dawned on me. During that lecture Pausch quoted Dan Stanford and said;
“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”
It dawned on me what I had gained, apart from the travel and the shopping and the tax free salary, I had gained an experience – an experience that had taught me more about myself than any other I’d gone through in my whole precious 24 years.
I knew when I quit I was quitting because this wasn’t a forever job and it wasn’t me. I wasn’t able to see the world for a day or 2 and travel back, I wasn’t able to see places from my bucket list and only experience them with people I had met less than 12 hours previously, I wasn’t living and it wasn’t my life.
I wasnt immersed in these cultures as I had always wanted to be, nor was I seeing the world with someone I loved, after a while I was simply seeing it to say I’d seen it. Now don’t get me wrong of course I’m delighted to say I’ve been on the Great Wall and seen the Christ the Redeemer Statue, but sometimes jobs like this, offering you the ability to travel the world don’t always hold the key to seeing the world. What they do give you is a drive to see the world without the strings of a 48 hour layover.
Would I do it again? Of course, it was an experience that made me and pushed me to do something I love. I’d recommend it to anyone, but I would also recommend understanding exactly what it is, and that’s different for everyone. For some people it could be a lifetime job, it could be a forever job – it comes with its limitations but once you’re aware of that and leverage it then all power to you!
Flipagram despises me and you will have to click this lovely link to discover said video 🙂 https://flipagram.com/ruthco