She believes money can always be found when it’s needed.
Financial security is really important to some people. The girl who travels isn’t afraid to drop her last pennies on a flight to Kuala Lumpur. She knows there will be a serving job or a teaching gig waiting for her to refill her account. She knows money will be around and the struggle is part of the adventure. If it was easy she wouldn’t value it so much.
She jumps without a safety net.
She just needs a one way ticket and a vague dream to follow. She doesn’t need to plan every single move. She gets an opportunity and she says, “yes” and leaps for it. That opportunity might take her to LA for a conference or to Asia for a year. You’ll never know when her dreams change or what direction they’ll flow towards.
She won’t ever be satisfied with average.
She has a strong aversion towards strip malls and the basic. Sure, average can be fun for a little while, but eventually she’s going to grow bored with the mundane everyday. She’ll need a creative outlet and energy.
She’s politically aware.
Once you see the impact of political actions around the world… you CANNOT unsee it. For me that was Cambodia. For someone else it might be Dubai or Detroit or Vietnam. I have seen a tiny little tidbit of how my government has impacted countries around the world and frankly I find it disgusting. I can’t unsee this. I’ll never be able to go back and rewind the tape to believing my country is the best in the world. This can cause some ideological friction when you get back home and realize that people still live with rose colored glasses.
She’s a chaos junkie
She operates best at 100 mph. She loves doing random and unique things. She won’t hesitate to jump on a flight, train, or motorbike at a moments notice. She loves jumping in and just seeing what happens. She may not know where her next paycheck is coming from or how long it’ll take to hike the coast of Vietnam but she’s okay with that. Every moment is an adventure.
She’s at her very best when she lives in the moment.
When she lives in the moment she feels alive. Like nothing can touch her. She gets so excited to sit back and realize “fuck ya… this is the life I’ve created.” One time that happened for me on a roof deck in the West Village of NYC. It was 7am and the sun was rising over the Empire State Building. I looked over at my friend and thought to myself, “This life I live is everything I’ve ever wanted.” It didn’t matter that we were all “responsible adults” that should have been in bed at a respectable hour. We were creating memories.
She’ll always be growing.
Travel is weird because it makes you grow in ways that you don’t quite realize in the moment. Travel made me a more mature and resourceful person. I was able to see different angles to a conversation and definitely noticed the role that culture plays in dialogues MUCH more. That being said, I don’t think all travel makes us grow. I think travel that involves interactions with locals and really experiencing the place you’re visiting will help open your mind to new perspectives -IF you allow it. As long as she continues to see new angels of the world in this light, she’ll continue to change and evolve. You might look at her one day down the road and realize, “wow, she’s not the person I met two years ago.” That’s because she isn’t that person any more.
She has a unique set of values.
Seeing the world opens your eyes to new possibilities. It surrounds you with people from all walks of life who’ve done amazing and unique things. It shows you that you can do much more than you’ve ever imagined you can do. Sweat equity becomes a very real and tangible idea. Your ideals and values shift when you see how different people view and handle different things. In Korea, I realized how much STUFF cluttered my life. I paired down to only owning enough “stuff” to fit into two suitcases. For me, “stuff” isn’t a value anymore. Education. Independence. Challenging Myself. Continuous Growth. Those are my values now. They may seem pretty standard and like good ideas on paper, but when they are put into practice they form the things that make me a unique and whole individual. Those values may not translate well in some areas. Sometimes, the traveler feels most like a fish out of water, when they return home and forgot what simplicity feels like.