One of my friends said to me earlier how 'lucky' I was to be going away travelling through Europe come next month. This led me to think about what it means when people mention that somebody is 'lucky' for travelling.
First of all it depends on what your definition of lucky is... When I think of luck, it brings to mind random events of a positive nature, for instance if you are walking down the street, feeling thirsty and have no money and out of the blue you find a £2 coin on the floor. That surely is luck.
If you want to delve further into what luck consists of; some would probably say luck to a certain extent is karmic, what goes around comes around etc. In that case good deeds lead to positive events occurring in your life. However, I made a conscious decision to go travelling a few months ago, so luck doesn't play a part in the initial process. Its purely drive to do something, just like you get the drive to go for a walk, or to play football, go skateboarding etc.
It could be said that me being able to travel is luck, I was born in a westernized country in reasonable wealth, compared to other parts of the world. I have had a good upbringing, education and home life, this allows me to have a sense of freedom, to a certain extent. I can apply for a passport and travel with relative freedom in most parts of the world. So in that way I do consider myself 'lucky'.
In many ways, if you know me, you'll probably agree that I am for the most part a pretty average 21 year old; steady relationship, family of four etc etc. However that is precisely one of the reasons for my wanting to travel into the (somewhat) unknown, I don't want to be an average 21 year old. Its not for reasons some might think, I don't aim to become famous or have people write about my adventures or what-not. Its just that normal life is for me considerately boring. Yes, its enjoyable at times, but for the most part I'm BORED. That might sound cruel or inconsiderate to friends and family, but I assure you it isn't the people that make me bored, although they do exist, no doubt about it. Its the daily routines of numbing mindless shit that I feel myself dragged into on a regular basis. When I detect these routines that make up my 'comfortable' existance, they make me feel the need to escape.
Sitting here now after just ordering, collecting and eating a take-away pizza, I almost feel ashamed. I know these are merely trivialities in the larger scheme of things, but it still makes me think that I should really be 'living' instead of sat here staring at this stupid laptop telling people about why I want to go. Why don't you go then for crying out loud? Well yeah if only it was that simple...If I had the self-confidence and knowledge to be able to set out of my house with no destination in mind and no money as back-up then I'd already be gone. Sadly, even a small budget is necessary for my travels. However if you know where to look, you will find people who have survived for years on a budget of absolutely nothing. Imagine that. Impossible right? Apparently not.
Its hard to imagine breaking such routines for a lot people, and most of the time it can take a life-changing event for anyone to do so, however it doesn't have to be like that. You know when you go somewhere new or do something you've never done before (be it legal or illegal) and you get that buzz which makes you feel 'alive' to use the cliche term...well thats because you're outside of your comfort zone, it makes you feel that way. Obviously not everyone is the same and this doesn't count for each and every person but for me that feeling once every fortnight isn't enough. I need to feel constantly 'alive', otherwise what is the point? For some people this buzz probably comes if they earn/win/steal or otherwise come by sizeable amounts of money. To me this is irrelevant. You really don't need money to be happy. Do you want to die rich or do you want to be able to tell people you travelled around the world using nothing but your intuition and other peoples good will.
As you may or may not know, when I leave for souther Spain, I will be attempting to hitch-hike, wild camp wherever possible, and use resources such as couchsurfing.org. It has been said many a time, that these means to an end improve peoples faith in humanity. There are good people out there, not just rapists and wierdo's as the news would have you think.
The cliche terms referring to 'living like its your last day' and such are used that often that you forget to take heed of what they actually mean. Inside these over-referenced quotes is a genuine meaning. If your life was to be taken away, would you be happy with what you've achieved? Does earning and extra £1 an hour matter? If it makes you happy I suppose you could say it does. But if thats the case I don't know why you've just read this.
So don't be lucky, just get outside of your comfort zone. If you don't like it, at least you've tried. If you do, then don't go back to your normal life, do something radical.