Once in a lifetime…. as often as you can!
#YOLO and all that. I don’t know what it says to you, but to me it says get out there and live life to the fullest. Do all that you can and all that you want to do. See and feel all that you want to.
I’m sitting on a rooftop in Cappadocia, Turkey, as I write this post, and the reason I’m writing it is because of something I saw on TripAdvisor. I was trawling the web doing the research that I do everywhere I go – this time I was looking for sunset and moon shots and locations here in Göreme to find inspiration for this evenings lunar eclipse. On the subject of Cappadocia in general, someone had written this: –
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience”
Well, actually, it isn’t. It’s something that everybody must see, granted. But once in a lifetime? No. I’m living my life doing ‘once in a lifetime’ as often as I can, and I’d highly recommend it!
As I write this post, here’s my current view: –
It’s right there at the foot of that mountain where I’m headed later to shoot the moon, and off to the right of the image where I’ll be shooting sunset.
But anyway, here’s the thing. People often ask how I do it, how it’s paid for, how I have time, all those kinds of questions. The overarching answer to everything is just do it! They say travel broadens the mind, and there’s a reason they say that! I started my traveling when I was 27. I heard about the ’30 countries by 30′ challenge and I was well below that. I had to squeeze a lot in, and it’s that which helped me to learn and understand the travel industry, particularly how to get it cheap!
What’s that? How much has this trip cost me? Well, all in it’s about £400, that’s for the flights, cave hotel, and a car for 4 days. I just had a lunch of Beef, Lamb and Chicken, baked with onion, peppers, tomato and garlic, topped with melted cheese, with rice and bread, with 2 cold drinks and a coffee. It cost me £7.38.
So travel isn’t cheap, but there are ways to do it that aren’t bank breaking, too! But what about the non-monetary aspect? To put it quite simply, travel has made me more awesome! I used to be a sit-in-the-corner, no clue about the world, weirdo. Travel makes everyone more awesomer (definitely a real word) because it gives you perspective and education. Understanding things about the world around us, with its many cultures, faiths, beliefs, cuisines, and the stunning views it has to offer, is refreshing and rewarding. It gives you a new way of life which is a combination of all the positive things you see and learn about different places, and on the flip-side it helps you better understand the negatives and shows you why you should leave them out.
Travel makes you more confident, more adaptable, and happier! After you’ve made a few mistakes and learned from them (like the time Morocco took my drone, the time I went to the wrong airport in Stockholm, or the countless times the weather in Iceland has screwed up my plans) you quickly become adaptable. You learn how to right your wrongs and how to fix things without letting them get to you. You learn to take the glitches and fix them, rather than getting angry or upset, and you make solutions because you’re awesomer.
You learn to face fears, and alongside that you learn there’s actually not a lot to be scared of. Once you’ve been to the top of the swaying Eiffel Tower in the wind your fear of heights moves aside. Once you’ve hung out of a helicopter, dived with Great White Sharks, navigated a new and challenging country in darkness, been followed around by wild dogs, looked a bear in the eyes, and been crept up on by the worlds most enormous kangaroo whilst stargazing in the pitch black, you learn what’s actually scary and what’s not, and what you can actually do about it. When you accomplish these things, it makes you more awesome!
It makes you more easy going, too. Travel teaches you to go with the flow. In Iceland I was told the saying ‘thetta reddast’ which has stuck with me. It means that it’ll all work itself out in the end. And it does. There’s no need to stress, it’ll all work itself out.
So, I said travel will make you happier. Think about all the successful people you know, personally or as a result of them being a celebrity or public figure. They’re generally all happy, funny, outgoing, smart, confident, as if they’ve travelled a lot! Travel simply teaches you how to be happy. You’ll be relaxed, confident, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light.
So, now that the world is a much smaller place and travel is constantly getting cheaper, take this one piece of advice, if you will: –
Once in a lifetime as often as you can.