“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport” — Unknown
“Hello, my name is Caroline, I am a 25 years old marketing student, and last year I have decided to quit my life to live another one during a year. I left my life in France, my studies, family, friends and boyfriend, in order to travel Australia alone and live a more simple life.”
Nowadays, hearing such a story is not surprising. We all know somebody who has a similar experience or somebody that has a son traveling New Zealand at the moment. This is the adventure of “Eat, Pray, Love”, cherished by many travellers.
Is it the fault of this damn generation Y again?
What backpackers are looking for while traveling is experience. They know that a long life of “Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work…” is coming and they want to “live something” before. Furthermore, some of them are not really sure about what they expect from their life and wish to find an answer during their trip. They have seen so many examples of people enduring their life and doing nothing to change it, they think they can do better and want to take control of their existence to focus on what matters.
In accordance to this movement, another kind of traveller is appearing: The freelancers. Of course there are still people who know what they want to do, but they want to experience it in their own way. Some professionals as bloggers, social media managers or web developers could work for companies from everywhere in the world, they just need a laptop with them.
All those amazing creatures eager to travel the world by their own, what a wonderful phenomenon!
Does taking a year long holiday really change something?
Well, I won’t say a year of holiday because a year of traveling is long and costly to afford it without working, especially for a young adventurer traveling with a backpack. This is the reason why most of those dreamers have to work hard before taking the road, and some of them doesn’t chose the easiest jobs. In order to get a second year visa in few countries as Australia, backpackers have to do three months of farm work. An experience that could be a big step to finding yourself:
“During my road trip in Australia, I have worked in farms for money or sometimes just to have a place to sleep and something to eat. Few of them were very tough, especially this lettuce fields, working in the blistering sun while a rude farmer yells on us every opportunity he gets. I was working directly in contact with earth, surrounded by other workers, most of them weren’t travellers but immigrants coming to Australia to escape their country or feed their family stuck back home. I couldn’t talk to them because most of them don’t speak english, they had no idea about what marketing is about, or, what life looks like up in Europe. Sometimes, I felt very alone in certain experiences and it made me start wondering and asking a lot of questions about myself. I have realised so many things like how fortunate I am to be born in France and have the chance to study.”
So is it the idea, travelling alone in rude condition to find yourself and finally know what you expect from life?
Have you read or watched “Into the wild”? What is the morality of such a story?
Even the loneliest fellow on earth needs social interaction. “Lose yourself to discover who you are” doesn’t mean to force yourself to be alone in a challenging position during your whole journey because some moments are only memorable if shared, and interactions make you learn.
“… On the other side of the coin, I have discovered and worked for wonderful people who taught me how to consider the essential and how to dare doing what you want. I will always remember this wonderful couple working in the middle of the rainforest for their own company. They are one of the most amazing couples I have ever met and by telling me their story, how they came from UK with a polytechnic diploma to end there after an incredible trip through the world, they have showed me the way I have to take in order to answer my questions and get the life I really want. Some people make you live wonderful experience and make you grow up.”
Thus, you have to travel alone but not completely, isn’t it?
Indeed it is important for a traveller to open himself to new persons and new adventures and not let them come to him even if they might to. This is the reason why adventurers have to make a balance between their own experiences and what they want to share. This is not complicated because this is something everybody can feel.
Freelancers or backpackers are millions going lonely every year into unknown places, eager for advices and companionships. Meeting perfect strangers in unexpected situation and build a beautiful friendship is what most of people are expecting secretly during their journey. But this is not always simple, nobody is perfectly confident, not even the boldest explorer. More over, in function of the country, the culture and the people, it is not always safe to talk to a perfect stranger. This is the reason why travellers have built communities via app or social network to help each other.
“After weeks of trip alone with short-lived relationships, I appreciate more and more the contact of people, even with somebody completely different. The questions of social classes or the way of thinking don’t have the same importance anymore. We were just human beings coming from different places, with different stories, and we were there at that moment for some reasons. That’s it!”
At the end, we are all human beings with the desire of living the life we really want. We are travelling to change ourselves and to grow up, but nothing is more relevant than social experience.