I have spent the last six months travelling around the world and living out of a suitcase. I took this trip for a few reasons, but it was mostly that I could fall in love with life and myself again. I wanted an adventure and it was exactly what I got! I spend 6 months largely without a plan, only one suitcase and an open mind.
Here are the things that I learned along the way.
1. Travelling is amazing!
I genuinely like going to new places. I like sleeping in new places and I can travel light. You get to meet amazing new people, you get to become resilient and think on your feet.
You get to spend time by yourself and also meet other people.
2. But… travelling for a long time does take a toll
There is something about every single moment of every day being accounted for makes you tired. And sometimes it’s really nice not having to explain for the thirtieth time what your job is. Also, sometimes you just want to eat a chicken parma.
3. Leave the fucking hotel room
I got drunk with Joe Demagios friend and the caterer of his wedding to Marilyn Munroe. I hung out with the set designer of Ghostbusters 2020 movie. I had a chef cook a private meal for in his restaurant. I have become friends with one of the co-founders of a new blockchain technology that’s dropping soon. I went backstage at Jimmy Kimmel. I surfed with an Olympian. I perhaps also made out with a TV star….
But the point is – I needed to leave my room to have those adventures.
4. But get some fucking sleep
Seriously Jemimah. Sleep.
5. Do the tourist thing
Embrace the tourist thing. The reason that it’s a tourist thing is because you need to experience it. You don’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. Embrace the trashy tourist life and then get off the beaten path.
6. You need far less stuff than you think you do
I have travelled with one suitcase for over 6 months. I began with 2 pairs of pants, one pair of shorts, one nice dress, a few shirts. The rule was extremely simple – if you buy something new, you have to throw something else out. The stuff you own, actually ends up owning you.
7. The local cuisine is 100% on point wherever you are.
Dole Whip and Loco Moco Hawaii, Texan BBQ from Austin TX, Clam Chowder in San Fran, Fanny Bay Oysters… See what I mean? Local cuisine is the fucking best.
8. All improvisers are always fucking awesome
9. CBD oil products are legal in some places and do a terrific job of looking like normal products.
If you are in a place where they are legal, you need to be mindful and perhaps double check labels before you drink a bottle of tea – and then lose the entire rest of the day.
10. Places can feel like home. People can become your family.
This sounds super fucking corny but I stand by it. Tiff, Tim, Laura, Brian, Cooper, the Gonzalez family, Callie… just to name a few.
You are home to me.
11. Self-care is different when travelling
Self-care for the most part for me involves taking some time out to give my brain and body a rest. Self-care in the US was ensuring my body didn’t get too much sugar. In Canada, it was hiking outside. It was taking vitamins, walking over taking an Uber, it was leaving the part a little early… you need to take care of yourself.
12. Every single person had a story.
My Uber drivers ranged from Brain Cranston’s stand in on Breaking Bad through to a woman who fostered SEVEN kids in a group home. Momma Joy had a whole family she just found on Facebook. I met a girl who didn’t know she was pregnant til she gave birth. I met Chez Guevara nephew.
Every person around you has a story and they are INCREDIBLE.
13. People are kind and giving.
I was extremely stranded when I arrived into Austin Texas and an 83 year old woman rescued me. People took me into their homes. People took me to all kinds of events – people took me to the baseball, bought me countless drinks and countless meals, nights out at karaoke, tubing down the river in Texas, backstage at Jimmy Kimmel, movie premiers… COME ON.
14. LIFE IS SO FUCKING SHORT
As my plane was landing into Melbourne, I thought about that I had spent 6 months on this adventure and all that I had done.
If I lived to 80, I could do this entire thing – 160 times in my entire life.
Except, I’m 34. And then I wouldn’t do this into my 70’s…
so PERHAPS… I only have another 20 years – or 40 more trips like this in my future.
And of course time is not guaranteed to anyone.
The only time we have in our lives are now.
Did any of these ring more true to you than others?