The Traveler Stories Series. Each month we feature a story written by another fellow traveler, who shares with us their own travel experiences. This month, meet Sam, a fellow traveler who is travelling the world full time. She shares with us her story and some lessons she learned along the way. 

As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to travel. So, when I turned 22, I packed up my belongings and prepared myself for a year long travel adventure. Little did I know at that point in time, that that would would be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with the world.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to continue this love affair to many destinations across the globe. I have lived and taught in both Singapore and the US. Volunteered with women and children in Africa. Snorkelled in a remote island around Malaysia. Celebrated Oktoberfest in Germany and bathed in hot springs in Iceland.

Just to name a few.

Balinese Wedding | Traveler Stories | Travelling the World | Sam Cornfield | Hello Raya Blog

Back in 2013 however, I decided it was time to move back to Australia and settle myself back into the ‘real world’, landing myself a job at a prestigious high school in Melbourne. And whilst, for the next couple of years, I enjoyed my job, I definitely wasn’t jumping out of bed each morning to get there. Quite simply, after only 7 years as a teacher, I had reached the point where I wasn’t sure that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The passion and love that I had once had for my chosen career, simply wasn’t there anymore.

So…. what next?!

After many hours of soul searching and trying to reflect on what I really wanted to do; what really made me happy, it was travel that kept coming up over and over again. I couldn’t shake the voice within me that was relentlessly telling me it was time to pack up my things and head off on the next adventure. And so – I quit my job! I realised that I needed to give myself the space to step away from teaching for a while and see whether it really was what I wanted to be doing FOREVER. Because let’s face, ‘forever’ is a long time!

Tulips in Netherlands | Travelling the World | Traveler Stories | Sam Cornfield | Hello Raya Blog

Fast forward to 2016 and I am now five months into a year long quest to discover the world – and, so it seems, myself!

I am currently sitting in a café in Florence, enjoying my third espresso of the day! Taking the time to write this piece has allowed me the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned so far. And whilst, that’s hard to narrow down, because quite simply every day I am learning so much, here are the top 5 things that come to mind:

1. I am capable of much more than I give myself credit

Every day I continue to surprise myself with all of the things I am able to do on my own. This opportunity has allowed me to stop and appreciate everything I am truly capable of achieving. Which, so it seems, is A LOT!

2. YOLO is not just a saying – it’s a way of life

Ok, so maybe my past as a teacher has seen the teenage lingo wear off on me a little too much, but there really is a lot to be said for adopting a ‘YOLO’ attitude. When it comes to traveling I truly believe it’s important to say ‘YES’ to as much as possible. You only live once after all – and I for one am determined to make it count!

3. Live in the NOW

When we travel, its very easy to get caught up in the excitement of all the amazing things we have in store. It’s important not to let the anticipation of next months’ adventures hinder you from enjoying where you are right now. I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion and am slowly learning to live in the present more and more. It really does make a big difference!

4. Appreciating other cultures is so important

When going to any country it’s always important to try and embrace and appreciate the culture as much as possible – The saying, “When in Rome” didn’t just come from anywhere! Get off the beaten track, ask the locals where the best places are, take a traditional dance class, learn to cook some native cuisine, stay with a local family, learn the language. There really is no limit to what you can do. Immersing yourself in the the culture provides a whole new viewpoint on the places and people who live there.

5. I am blessed beyond words

More than anything, travel has taught me to be grateful for what I have. There are so many people in this world who are much worse off than I am. It’s not that this trivialises anything that I may have been through in my own life, but it certainly puts a lot of it into perspective. Travel has allowed me to be more thankful for the things I DO have – starting with the fact that I’m now experiencing the world firsthand!

One of the comments I hear most often when I tell people that I am traveling for a year is, “Wow! I’m so jealous. I wish I could do that!” To which my response is, ‘You can!”

Traveler Stories | Travelling the World | Sam Cornfield | Hello Raya Blog

I understand that it’s not that easy for everyone to just pack up their lives and set out on a year long adventure around the world, BUT, and it’s a big BUT…If it’s your dream to do so, then you can find a way to make it happen.

I am not a millionaire by any means. I worked my arse off and sold a lot of my possessions in order to make this trip a reality. Why? Because I wanted to. I was sick of going to work every day feeling unsatisfied with my life. The general feeling driving home each night was that there ‘has to be more to life than this!’ And, quite frankly, from my point of view – there is!

If you yourself are unhappy with your current situation and thinking about making a change, my advice would be – GO FOR IT! And that doesn’t have to mean traveling for a year. For you it might mean changing careers, or ending a relationship or buying a new car. If that’s your dream; if it’s something you really want to do, then find a way to make it happen. Because life really is too short to spend unhappy. And from where I’m sitting, you have a whole lot to gain in the process.

 

Travelling the World | Logo | People in our World | Hello Raya Blog

Sam is the beautiful Founder and Blogger at People in Our World, a blog that celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of the people and places around the world. Follow along on her journey through her Blog,  Facebook, and Instagram

 

If you have an interesting story to tell and would like to be featured in our series Traveler Stories, please get in touch!

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32 Comments on Travelling the World – Lessons of a Travelholic

  1. Traveling the world, full time! Eeeee, can I get that job please!?
    Sam is inspiring But in reality, maybe, I can’t do that. I can imagine how much energy it takes! Only once/twice in a year is ok with me…phew!

    • Fair enough! Always being on the go can be tiring, so I always recommend to still set yourself a base and travel from there. Now I travel every few weeks as opposed to always on the go.

    • Thank you so much Tamanna. I really appreciate your comment. Traveling full time is definitely not for everyone. Taking a break once or twice a year can be just as rewarding that’s for sure. Be sure to keep me posted on your future travel adventures. I’d love to hear all about them! x

  2. Go you Sam! Your journey is a spin on the phrase “if you love something, set it free, if it comes back to you it was meant to be”. Eat, travel, have fun, and eventually you might find yourself being drawn back into teaching… or not 🙂 finding yourself is half the fun. Thanks Soraya for having Sam on the blog x

    • Thanks so much Amanda. That really means a lot! Loving that quote too – very true!!! My heart is still out on whether or not I’ll go back to teaching – but you’re absolutely right. Finding myself is definitely half the fun! 🙂 x

    • Loved sharing Sam’s story. So true – finding yourself is half the fun… especially while travelling 🙂

  3. Wonderful post! Travelling solo is one of the best experiences you can have in life, even if it’s just for a month or two. Some great advice there Sam, particularly about taking the time to immerse yourself in the culture you’re visiting. Happy travels 🙂

    • Thank you so much Emma! I’m really glad you got something out of my piece. Cultural experiences are definitely half the fun of traveling. Hope you’re well and loving life – wherever you are in the world! x

  4. I must say this article totally triggered my wanderlust! I also think this world is too beautiful to NOT go see it! I was born in Germany, grew up in Buenos Aires and lived a couple of years in Spain. But when I got married and my kids were born, we settled for a life here in Germany. I think now that my kids are growing, it’s time to spread our wings again, this time as a family!
    Thank you for waking up this feeling inside!

    • Definitely!!! Travelling with your kids will be such a fantastic experience for them. I travelled so much whilst growing up and I am forever grateful that my parents did this.

    • WOW! Thank you so much Verena! I really appreciate your honesty and support here. Traveling as a family will be an incredible experience for you all. Definitely keep me posted. I would LOVE to hear about your experiences in the future x

  5. This resonates with me so much! Life is way too short to keep doing things that make you unhappy, especially if you have the means to change your situation.
    I started my travels a few months ago, and it really does open your eyes to what’s most important to you. Some people NEED to move and experience new places in order to thrive, and I’m definitely one of those!
    It’s always nice to read about kindred spirits – thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Always LOVE meeting other kindred spirits Phoebe. Thank you for your kind words. It’s great to hear about other people out there living in their truth and making the most out of life! Definitely keep me posted on your travels – it would be great to connect somewhere in the future in some far off, exotic location 🙂 x

  6. Although I’m not the person who simply packs a bag and gets into a train, plane or boat, in my dream world this is what I would like to do. And if I’m dreaming about it, then I guess there is something in me that just wasn’t triggered enough! I couldn’t agree more that life is so much more than waking up every morning just to go to work (which might not even enjoy)!

    • Totally totally agree with you Trinity. Life is so much more than the 9-5 work routine. And if you can create the opportunity to work online, you can choose to work anywhere in the world.

    • Hi Trinity! If at any point you decide you want to just go for it and hop on that plane, train or boat – be sure to let me know. I always enjoy having travels buddies with me on my adventures! 🙂 x

  7. OMG this actually sounds like my life story. I too at the age of 22 packed up everything and travelled for the next 5 months. I then based myself in London for the next 2.5 years, working in London while travelling back and forth to Africa and Europe. After spending 3 years seeing the world i needed to fly home to Melbourne as my visa had run out. Fast forward to 2016 and I’m heading back to Europe/Uk in July. I don’t think i will ever get sick of travelling. It’s become such a big part of my life and my memories.
    Hope your enjoying your current travels 🙂

    • So true! I don’t think I will get sick with traveling anytime soon. Hope you have a wonderful time in Europe in July – such an amazing part of the world.

    • Thanks so much Sammy. Travels are going great. I hope yours are too. Keep in touch. I’ll be in Europe until December so maybe our paths will cross at some point 🙂 x

  8. Traveling is something my fiance and I have had to put on hold for a long time due to savings, but now with more financial stability and a honeymoon coming up, we’re looking to Europe as one possibility. I’m also very curious about visiting Iceland as well, I’ve been seeing it pop up lately on Pinterest and it looks amazing 🙂

    • My Hubby and I were the same. We’d do short trips here and there, but decided to work hard to save so we could take the time off now. Iceland is a country on my bucket list – I have heard incredible things about this country. Would love to go too!

    • Whether you choose Europe or Iceland you certainly won’t be disappointed. They’re both incredibly beautiful and extremely romantic. Perfect Honeymoon destinations that’s for sure. Congratulations on the engagement, good luck with the wedding and have an amazing time on your travels – wherever you decide to go! <3 x

  9. To be able to live life as one desires is matter of great luck and courage. YOLO is a fact and to make the best out of it is the wisest thing to do.
    Love the capture with locals.

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