#SFIWoman: TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL & THEN… TRAVEL AGAIN

Traveling in Hiroshima

“There is nothing more beautiful than a well-traveled woman with an amazing story to tell.” 

It’s easy to get bored of everyday life… to let monotony set in and drain your soul as you sit in weekly presentations, fill up the tank of your car and round up your enzyme assays time and time again. Yep. We’re pretty good at making excuses: there’s no time to take that trip. I really need to finish this experiment… I need to find that job… I really need to save for that new car. Oh please.

Really?! Do you really need that new car? Do you really need those new shoes that is going to cost you $80?

Those are just excuses. I know because I’ve been there and said the same things. So let’s stop right there.

Wandering the streets of Osaka, Dotonbori

If you really want to travel, you’ve got to take the plunge and just do it. Yes, I know it’s not as easy as it seems or cheap as every travel blogger makes it sound but there is a way… even if you just start saving a little every month towards a trip you want to take… it’s something.

Don’t let others convince you otherwise. Just go. Please. Even if it’s just once… even if it’s alone. Then come back and tell me what you have learnt and if you have any regrets. Sit down with me and tell me of your long plane ride to a place you’ve never been to before, how you were nervous and scared and excited all at the same time. Tell me how you made your way to the hotel all by yourself in a city where no one speaks English and how you found a small café and managed to sit down as a strong free thinking independent woman and finally have that first cappuccino on your own. Tell me how you explored a new city and had the most riveting conversation with a complete stranger.

Travelling does something for your soul on an unexplained level. It shows you that beauty and mystery still exist in the world while reminding you of how strong and resourceful you really are. More importantly, it will show you that the unpredictability of the universe can sometimes be a beautiful thing.

life_of_shal_tokyo_disneysea_8

Of course it won’t always be all rainbows and butterflies. I can tell you a story of how my family and I narrowly missing the 2004 tsunami by minutes or how I had my wallet stolen in Barcelona, leaving my sister and I stranded with nothing by 150 euros in our pocket. Sure, at the time it wasn’t exactly revitalizing to my soul but it showed me that I really am stronger than I thought I was.

So, my strong, free-thinking, independent woman, just go. Where ever it is you want to. In the end, it’s these wonderful moments that keep our heart young and our soul alive. Sometimes the best life experiences and opportunities will only happen after you dare to leave home.

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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