Travel creates memories that will last a lifetime, and most people spend all of their hard earned money on materialistic items that make them feel good but you aren’t going to remember that big-screen TV, or Italian leather sofa when you’re at retirement age.
Sharing my backstory
You would remember flying over Sydney in a helicopter or looking after elephants in a sanctuary in Thailand. Travel experiences are what make our lives richer.
For those that do not know my backstory, in 2015, I quit my job of 24 years to travel around the world. The first goal was to spend six months travelling and then see where that took me. The ultimate goal is to work remotely and travel long term.
Taking myself out of the comfort zone
It was March 2015, and I decided that it was time to take myself out of the comfort zone and travel to a beautiful part of the world called Tuk Tuk, which is located next to Lake Toba, a large natural lake occupying the caldera of a super volcano.
On arrival in Indonesia, it took me 8 hours by taxi to the port where I would board a boat to take me to Tuk Tuk, an island in the middle of the lake.
The journey itself will be an experience that I will remember forever, as the taxi driver could not speak very little English but was an Abba fanatic, and I mean a fanatic. For nearly the entire trip he sung Abba classics and danced around in his seat while avoiding cows in the road, and truck drivers who were the craziest drivers that I’ve ever seen.
Arriving in a new place
I could write a book about this short 5-day journey, it was full of experiences but one stood out. The next morning, while walking around the small village, the realisation hit home that I was the only English speaking person there.
While walking back to my hotel room, a really attractive local woman came up to me, she can’t have been more than 20 years old and said something in Indonesian. I politely responded that I could not speak the language. As soon as I opened up my mouth her eyes lit up and a huge smile appeared on her face.
Life changing experience
She replied, please come to my school and speak English to my pupils, just for 20 minutes. I was taken aback and didn’t even think about it, and the next second we were walking to the school.
The kids were aged between 9 and 14 years old, they were the most polite kids that I have come across on my travels and they were so keen to learn. For over an hour, I sat in that small, run down classroom and answered their questions, which they asked in English (very well, I have to add).
This was a village in the middle of nowhere, yet this teacher was trying to learn them to speak English (she spent some time in London with family, I later learnt). She wanted them to be global citizens and knew that knowing English would help them.
The hour that I spent with those amazing kids will be something that I will remember for the rest of my life. Please, don’t get stuck in a world of materialistic items, experience travel, the world and create your own memories that last a lifetime.