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The Road Less Traveled - Gary’s Experience

19 May 2019

Have you ever wondered what it's like to travel for ten years?  When I first started travelling it was to escape the grind of living and working in London. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, I was running away every time I jumped on a flight. I couldn’t bear the reality of which my life was. I knew I had to change something or it would be the end of me.  Commuting for two hours each day just to eek out an existence in a city I had no interest in living in was no longer an option for me.

The biggest realization I had was when I was working at the top of the shard. For those who don’t know, the shard is the biggest building in London, Western Europe in fact. I remember looking down 900 meters from the top, and seeing the train lines coming into London bridge station. To me they resembled arteries that feed the heart.  That heart being London and me being just a small insignificant blood cell.

I was fed up.

With this realization I knew I had to get out, so I decided to pack everything up, sell my belongings and leave. I remember sitting at the window seat on an airbus a380 thinking to myself that this decision is drastically going to change my life for better or worse.

Many people think that leaving your own country is the best thing you can do, and it is in some ways.

I’ve become cultured, knowledgeable, and feel like a citizen of the world. I understand people and cultures far better than any of the people who’ve decided to stay put in their home country.  When I left all I wanted was to be ‘free’, and now I have that.

I have freedom, I have choices to move around. the only problem I find is that It’s difficult to maintain genuine relationships with people when you’re on the move. And that’s one of the reasons why I like to stay in one place for a while. It’s great to see everything in a short space of time, but you don’t truly get to know a place or the people unless you stay for longer.

Out of all the places that I’ve lived and visited, I always seem to gravitate back towards Koh Phangan.

The place has such a variety of expats, travelers, and great parties. It's a little paradise tucked away in the Gulf of Thailand, the beaches and terrain are stunning, not to mention the food. If you want Thai food that’s fine, but there is also plenty else on offer too.

All in all I think a big reason people leave their home countries permanently is not just to travel, but to find somewhere they can call home, a place that resembles the morals they align with and to meet like minded folks.

At the end of the day leaving everything you’ve ever known behind and hitting the road is not for everyone, some people will stay married to the same person for 60 years and stay in the same mundane job until they retire. For some of us though we see other alternatives...

Written by Gary Shoulders.


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