“The World’s is an oyster and its upto you to find the pearls” – Chris Gardner.
The words of Mr. Gardner couldn’t have been truer in this age of wanderers. Never before in history have so many taken to exploring the world like they have today.
What’s common between Norwegian Christian Lindgren, Galway-born Johnny Ward and Californian couple, Michael and Alexandra? Not much, barring the fact that they are some of those unique globetrotters who have taken upon themselves to explore the world on their own.
One-holiday-a-year family holiday days are definitely over!!
The normal one-holiday-in-a-year seems to be an affair of the past. Gone are the days when holidays used to be a family affair, when the parents packed their kids’ alongwith their belongings for a weekend getaway to their relatives’ places.
The trend is to travel first and think later!
Off late, youngsters like Chris and Johnny have decided that it is worthwhile to take the plunge EARLY when it comes to travelling.
Take the case of 27-year-old Christian Lindgren (http://unusualtraveler.com/). He quit his studies at the age of 18 to travel the world. At an age when the world is an unknown commodity and when we are not yet sure about the shadows lurking around in the neighbourhood, Chris took the plunge by travelling to a different corner of the planet, and left for the unique land, that is India. From there, he went onto explore Central Asia and who would have thought, after having explored 97 countries in less than 10 years, Iran would turn out to be his favourite destination!
Watching a sunset in Santorini, or travelling cheap at under USD 20/ day in destinations like Ukraine, Indonesia and Nepal; every day is an adventure for Chris, an education in the art of life. Suddenly, stepping away from the normal and taking in the adventure of life, is something he lives for.
Adding an element of adventure, surprise, and shock, at times to the daily grind of life, these globetrotters feel that travel is in itself a better educator than anything else.
Johnny Ward of One Step 4Ward (http://onestep4ward.com/) fame describes himself, as a Generation Y Irish guy who just knew that there was more to life than a 40+ hour work week, a bland social calendar, and a 2 week break in the sun each year. Now, he works 10-20 hours a weeks from his laptop anywhere on the planet, whilst on a full-time journey to travel to every country in the world. Johnny’s country count is 162 now, and he is Nigeria (at the time of the article being written), and he plans to travel to Benin, next. Some life, isn’t it?
Suddenly, pining for a major degree from the Ivy League universities or working as an investment banker with a sumptuous salary to hog on, doesn’t seem to be the dream of these millennials.
Watching the Big 5 undertake that massive journey in the African jungles (savannahs), hiking the Himalayas, or trying out the weirdest dishes at the most obscure of places, rafting, gliding, or snorkelling in the blue, mesmerising waters of the Caribbean islands seems to be the things to crave for, to satiate your dreams.
From a change in the comforting plans of the family holidays to the crazy turn of romantic getaways, holidays and vacations have suddenly all become about traveling and exploring the unknown.
Romantic big-fat wedding or traveling the world with your loved one? A massive dilemma!
Not only the family holidays, but also the oh-so-romantic, big-fat weddings have suddenly lost all their sheen. Couples like Michael and Alexandra, began dating in May, 2013 and quickly discovered that they both had a passion for travel and adventure. For 2 years, they packed their weekends full with hikes, mini-vacations, music festivals, and whatever other sorts of adventure they could pack (cram) into 72 hours. Finally, they made a huge decision together to quit their jobs and travel the world together. On June 1, 2015, they boarded a) one-way flight to Italy and have been traveling indefinitely ever since!”
These might just be individual cases, but suddenly, traveling with your loved ones, before and after getting hitched, has become the norm.
Travel provides a different perspective to life…
Megan Sullivan, 31, was left deflated after being diagnosed with skin cancer. But, instead of letting the inevitable take the life out of her, she decided to travel. And travel, she did! Nearly 30,000 miles across the globe in just 13 days, she met with a car crash, fell off a 50-feet cliff, and still managed to survive it all! Megan’s three near-death experiences prompted her to embrace life and visit the new Seven Wonders of the World which she managed to do so in less than 2 weeks with Chris, whom she had been dating for merely two weeks, then.
Photography and travelling goes hand-in-hand
Youngsters like Alex Robciuc from Romania (https://www.holidayme.com/explore/a-peek-into-draculas-abode-like-never-before-through-the-lens-of-an-amateur-photographer/), have taken to travelling and photographing their beautiful country, instead. ‘I live in a wonderful part of Romania, which is the Maramures County, and I regularly catch and create great photos of the landscape,’ says Alex.
A large part of the world is yet to be explored and these vagabond travellers armed with their DSLRs have suddenly become the new-age explorers. Good, high-res images also come in handy as a source of income for these travellers who have started their own blogs/websites, which eventually helps them in funding their travels.
New-age social media superstars
Russian photographer Murad Osmann’s photo collection (https://instagram.com/muradosmann/) of being led by his girlfriend across several landmarks around the world became viral and made him an overnight social media sensation. From Moscow, to Hong Kong, to Singapore to Bali, he has documented his travels as he is guided around the world by his girlfriend.
Murad is not alone, as these new-age vagabonds documenting their travels through their blogs and photos have suddenly come into the limelight courtesy the social media craze spurned on by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram-fed millennials.
Quit your job and start travelling… Wait, not just yet!!
The appeal of the lives being lived by Chris, and Johnny among others, might suddenly seem so overpowering that you would want to quit your jobs and take to travelling right away! But, it’s easier said than done. In fact, it’s never that easy, as Chris himself points out.
Proper planning, thorough research on the destinations, and a clear roadmap in your head is extremely important. Also, a heavy wallet is essential to start, he relates. Megan Sullivan and her boyfriend Chris, saved money by spending just five nights in hotels; the rest of the time they slept on aeroplanes.
Sometimes, being stranded in the jungle waiting for your next transport, or sitting by the riverside waiting for a boat to take you to the other side (end) may feel like an adventure of a lifetime, but the reality tends to be harsher.
So, before you take the inevitable plunge and travel, take a deep breath, keep your plans ready, and then fasten your seat belts, as the journey is going to be fast, furious and bumpy; but one that you will cherish for a lifetime.