Last weekend, my love, Oluwaseun came to visit me. As usual, it was lots of funny moments, eating out and rushing to be on time for things.
It also got me thinking about why it’s so good to travel and make the most of exploring new countries. So here are 10 REASONS (accompanied by pictures from our escapades with loose relevance to each point) why I think everyone, especially people in their 20s, should travel lots, but with intention and purpose:
1. New environment – Colourful buildings and street art may be the answer…
Sometimes being in a new place is just great for the soul. Especially being from somewhere like London which is grey all round TBH, it can be so refreshing to go out and be on a street full of colourful buildings. My area, Benimaclet, Valencia is the best example of this, it’s full of yellow and orange buildings – how can that not make you smile!
Streetart from when we basically did our own night street art tour in a barrio called El Carme in Valencia)
2. New language – It was fake Spanish…
Have I mentioned that I study Spanish and I’m on my year abroad in Valencia, Spain? Well, lol, despite this, my relationship with Spanish is interesting and not even in a negative way. For me, I’m convinced that the Spanish I learnt in Secondary School was fake (not fake fake, but not as authentic as the real, moving, breathing language) , purely because I think a language is truly alive when it is used in real life, everyday settings, hence I’m learning to unlearn alot of the things I was told about Spanish in School (how much does this mirror life? Growing up and unlearning, learning and relearning) and learning to go with the flow.
(Realising that being in a country and using the language everyday is different from learning it from a textbook…)
3. New way of living life – Spanish people love cerveza (beer) …
Beer and food is such a huge part of Spanish culture. In September/October when it was still warm (it’s colder now), it would amaze me to see so many people sitting in outside bars, chilling, chatting and having a drink. It’s definitely taught me the importance of relaxing and enjoying the moment – not being too busy or caught up in whatever I’m doing, that I miss being in the present.
(This picture has no relevance to Spanish people loving beer, but I’m making it work)
4. New people – Different worlds, different lifestyles…
I’ve said it so many times, but it’s so true that people are really living different lifestyles, and it’s not until I’ve lived with people from different backgrounds and walks of life, that I have truly realised this.
5. Learn more about yourself – You can’t be lonely if you love your company…
The truth is, being in a new country, you have to make the effort to explore your new city, try new things and make the most of opportunities that come your way and everything does depend on YOU! This is exciting as you realise that you have the power to shape your experiences. Whilst travel is good, it can’t be used as a way to run away from one’s own problems, because after all, you are your constant companion, so the sooner the internal situation is sorted out, the more peace a person will have, wherever they are located.
6. Change is good – Growth is amazing…
Change can be difficult but it’s also the perfect environment for growth. I’ve grown alot, since being here in Valencia, meditation has helped SO much, I can’t say this enough.
(This picture shows that we haven’t fully grown out of the awkward phase, sighh)
7. Save money – It’s not everyday London prices…
As we all know, London’s prices for everything are a joke. So in many ways, I’m glad that my home city is London because most cities are relatively cheap in comparison, so it’s win for us Londoners wherever we move to! My rent in Valencia (which includes bills and a weekly cleaner) is the cost of an Adult Oyster Zone 1-5 Travelcard for one month! Big joke!
(Laughing at the thought of my rent in Valencia being equivalent to a monthly travelcard on a Oyster card )
8. Detachment – Bird’s eye view of your situation…
Living in a city, comes with lots of newness, and as a result, it can teach you to always have the bigger picture in mind. Sometimes, being able to be detached from a situation and looking at the said situation from a macro, bird’s-eye perspective is the solution to many problems, it has helped me so much!
(She really led me to believe it was one of those pics where I was holding the tip of the sculpture, then I saw this pic…)
9. Empathy for others – Tourists in Bank station…
I know that I’m quite an empathetic person but I think now I have alot more compassion for confused tourists in Bank Station who are trying to find their way, because I know what it’s like to be in a new city and have to navigate everything – it can be alot, at times, but it’s exciting too!
(This picture has no relevance, but I like it, so it’s here)
10. There’s nothing to lose, but so much to gain – “Why not?”
Lastly, I think it’s so good to ask ourselves, “Why not?”. Especially when an opportunity comes up to travel or do a new activity, to ask, “If I do this or go here, what will I lose?”. Often the answers are, “I won’t loose anything, maybe money, but money comes and goes. But I will gain X, Y, Z etc. In many cases, what we will gain through experience is invaluable and worth so much more than the money that was originally spent.
So, my loves, with all this said,
Enjoy the present and..
LIVE IN THE MOMENT.