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The Only Thing You Buy

We all know the saying: "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer". Rich in experience, rich in culture, rich in intuition and of course, rich in stories.  

I recently attended a music festival that is known for it's widely accepting environment and late night dance parties. People come from all over the world to dress up in costumes and express themselves in ways that the outside world may find rather bizarre, or extraordinary, depending on how you look at it. Throughout the weekend I witnessed countless people in tutus, glitter, booty shorts and even in the buff, along with an abundance of love and acceptance. Basically, no one gave a shit about what they, or anyone else, was doing, and in a moment surrounded by fairies and aliens, I felt free. Free of judgement, free of responsibility, and free of any cares. A feeling of nostalgia took over me and tears of joy filled my eyes as I realized the last time I felt this way was in Asia. It was in that moment that my fire was reignited.

When we travel we become our most unapologetic selves. I personally find that I become more open minded and approachable. I love quickly and appreciate the little things. Since the festival I have found it impossible to shake the state of euphoria I embrace when I travel, and I'm constantly being reminded of the aspects of travel I love the most, including how I've changed, and the lessons I've learned since I began to spend time abroad. This list was nearly impossible to narrow down, but here we go.

1) You become naive: and it's quite humbling. You remove yourself from the comfort and security of your own home and immerse yourself into a new culture, language, currency and climate. You know next to nothing, and it's extraordinarily refreshing.

2) Everything is opened: Your mind, your heart, your eyes and your opportunities. Like I said, we become our most unapologetic self when we travel, especially solo travel. You have no choice but to talk to strangers. You have no choice but to accept and immerse yourself in your situation. This forces you to focus on and appreciate every detail, taking everything in. Acceptance and openness to your situation and the people around you leads to opportunity. Some of my most memorable times were completely unplanned; a spur of the moment idea suggested by a new friend (such as my near death snorkelling trip; check out Into The Blue).

3) You appreciate the little things: This applies both while travelling and upon returning home. Travelling has given me a huge appreciate for a roll of toilet paper when I enter a bathroom stall. For a bed free of bed bugs. For a ceiling that doesn't leak when it pours. For running water and electricity. For the fact that I am able to experience a different part of the world (okay that's a big thing, but it's still important).

4) You get to do a lot of really cool shit: Hang in the jungle with elephants? Sure. Swim with sharks? Why not. Hike for 3 days and 2 nights to catch the sunrise at the top of a volcano? Fuck. Yes. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot cool stuff to do here in my hometown, but nothing has compared to the adventures I've had abroad. Hell, just flying to Asia was an adventure all in itself.

And lastly, my personal favourite:

5) It's fucking scary: but good things never came from comfort zones. They say if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough, and mine give me butterflies the size of airplanes.

Since returning home from B.C two weeks ago I've buckled down and refocussed myself on where I want to be in a year. I've constructed a loose budget and plan for a departure date back to Asia in October 2018. Return date: indefinite. I've begun my application for my english teaching certification, as well as begun research on housing in Thailand. It's ridiculously nerve racking and it feels like I've got an airport in my stomach, but that's how I know it's right.

My exposure to the world and my many opportunities to be naive have made me who and what I am today. I hunger for unknown paths and the chance to experience and succeed outside of my comfort zone. When people talk about catching the travel bug, this is what they're talking about. Not a beach vacation or the opportunities that lie within travel (although these are really awesome too), but the feeling you get when nothing is normal and everything is upside down. This is what keeps me coming back for more. These moments are what make me rich.

Caylie Smith

Not Your Average

"Whatever is good for your soul, do that"

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