“I love to travel because it opens my eyes, gladdens my heart, sharpens my mind, tires my feet, lightens my wallet and brightens my life.” – Ramya Tirumalai
Twenty-two countries and seventy-one cities and counting. I have lived five years in the Netherlands, more than five months in Bali, over three months in Romania, and two months at a time but four months in total in Italy. At the age of twenty-four, I am pretty proud of these numbers but I can’t stop here and gotta keep on going.
My first trip independently was at the age of fourteen. It was a trip to an English language camp in England. A company called EF, Education First, was organizing it. There were other Estonians in the group too, but I still did not know anybody and it was a big challenge for me, a shy kid. It turned out to be one of the greatest experience at that time. I met so many international people, got to travel and see new places and had so much fun. A few years later I wanted to go again and went to Berlin. I was the only Estonian there and it was even better!
Travel has taught me so much about myself.
I used to be not just shy, but a super shy kid. I am still rather shy but dare to do so much more than I ever would if I had never traveled. It has given me a lot of confidence and I have learned how to manage things independently. Especially, when I have traveled alone. Life has taught me that sadly you can’t always trust people, thus I feel secure when I can really rely on myself. Traveling has shown me that I can manage in all sorts of new situations out of my comfort zone and handle challenges. Plus traveling forces you to do things that you would never do otherwise. It may be scary at first and even a little uncomfortable, but later you will be thankful because you have become either stronger, smarter, more skilled or happier. And in most cases, it wasn’t actually scary at all, but a lot of fun.
Travel has taught me so much about other cultures, countries, and life itself.
It is just so interesting to learn and see how other people live. I learned so much more by traveling than I have ever learned in school. I don’t even remember half of the things I learned in school. What I have seen, learned and experienced while traveling does not fade away from the memory so easily. Now I understand people from different backgrounds better because I know about their culture and history and can understand certain behaviors. All this has definitely made me a lot more open-minded and tolerant. And learning some new languages is only a bonus.
It’s never dull.
I refuse to live a boring life and do the same stuff every day. When traveling you always discover something new and the world is so big, there is always something different to see. You meet new people, make wonderful memories, gain new experiences and try new food. Parasailing, swimming under the waterfall, meeting wild but friendly animals or getting lost in strange but wonderful places are just all great adventures worth having. Later you have some great stories to tell, too.
Can you spot the friendly animal I met in Bali?
Live to be alive
Most importantly, I don’t want to be on my deathbed one day and think of all the things I did not do and regret all the chances I did not take and hate myself for not living happily. Traveling feeds my soul, makes me feel alive and happy. And this is why I travel!
Why do you travel?