Isn’t it funny how you end up learning a lot about yourself by doing something you don’t think you’ll like? And sometimes you end up liking things you thought you didn’t like. Isn’t that what happens sometimes?
When No Becomes Yes
For example, consider my rainforest adventure in Cairns, Australia. There is no way to book something like that before you travel. I don’t like spiders, snakes, or insects at all. As the countdown to my around-the-world adventure draws closer and closer, I’ve been asked many times if I’m planning on taking a walk through a jungle or rainforest, and my standard answer has always been a resounding “no.” There was no room in my mind to even think about it. “No” slipped from my mouth the same way your eyes blink shut when something approaches you. It was a natural reflex.
My friends and family laughed at their thoughts and were overjoyed at the thought that I had come within a 10-mile radius of the spider.
Then I arrived in Australia, got caught up in the backpacker vibe, and discovered an adventurous talent I didn’t even know existed. I wasn’t forced to go on a rainforest walk. In fact, quite the opposite. Hearing people talking about it made me want to get in on the action.
I clambered under a giant spider web that hung from the tree like a hammock. I stopped to look at the largest eight-legged creature I had ever seen. Admittedly, it still gave me the creeps, and I didn’t feel the urge to abandon my hostel room and head to a campsite in the rainforest. But I tried it and it was fun. It made me feel alive and exhilarating. And now I love embracing my inner adventurer, trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru (a place you should 100% add to your list!), climbing volcanoes, and so much more! We are doing
When Fears Become Achievements
That’s just one of the things that surprised me about the trip. Adding to my collection of fears, I also don’t like heights. The cliché backpacker activities are bungee jumping or skydiving. Both were 100% out of the question for me before the trip. There was no way I would think of something like that…that’s what I thought.
Traveling around the world seemed to foster a rebellious personality within me. I was desperate to surprise people, shock myself, and prove that I could do (or seem like I didn’t want to do) anything I wanted. On a whim, I booked a skydive over Melbourne’s Yarra Valley.
I actually showed up at the center and surprised myself by climbing into an unusually small airplane can. I don’t know if I would have jumped if I hadn’t held on to my bad instructor, but I did. Freefall was the most intense and breathtaking experience. Gliding smoothly down to the ground was much more relaxing and fun to say the least.
When I rushed out and said I didn’t want to do it again, the instructor got furious. Apparently this is not a standard response. Most people are desperate to get back there!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that traveling is an adventure in itself. You can make plans, but just like in life, you never know what’s going to happen around the corner. Especially during a big gap year like traveling around the world, you will grow and develop a lot. New people come in constantly from all walks of life. Old people, young people, poor people, rich people, etc. Some have stories to tell, others have chapters with you as the main character. It’s an emotional feast and will almost certainly be full of surprises, whether you like it or not.
From unexpected hotel cancellations that catch you off guard to personal moments that push you out of your comfort zone, there’s no denying that you’ll be surprised while traveling. I don’t know? Book your next trip and see for yourself!
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So, do you want to travel the world?