When I graduated high school I honestly had a dream of never leaving Saskatchewan (that’s a Province in Canada by the way for all my foreign friends). I always wanted to learn about other cultures and languages, but I wanted to do it in the safety and comfort of my own country. When I moved away to go to university I met a very dear friend who changed everything for me. On a wintery afternoon, as we were having the “what am I doing with my life” conversation, she said, lets go to Europe together. I said yes. I think we were both secretly waiting for the other to backdown because it was so random and spur of the moment, but neither of us did and before we could tell our parents, we had purchased our plane tickets. I’ve never looked back.
So now I’ve had opportunities that 6 years ago I would have never imagined were possible. But, I’m tired of just travelling, seeing things, meeting people, and not giving back at all. I believe travelling is one of the best things you can do to better yourself and reach a greater understanding of the world and why it is the way it is. So I’ve been sharing my story here for you all to read, but what about everyone else… I want to inspire people to get up and go. Say yes to travelling, yes to climbing that ridiculously huge volcano, yes to getting on that train with the group of French guys you only met yesterday, yes to sleeping in a room with 20 people to save a few dollars, yes to showing up in a country you know nothing about, yes to making uncountable mistakes along the way. So I came up with #GoDo.
As I meet people from around the world, I’m going to interview them and post it here. I’m not special or unique in the fact that wandering the world is the life I am choosing. There are so many people who feel the same as me and I want to be able to share their stories.
Where are you from? Why do you travel? Introduce yourself to the world.
So, I’ll go first.
My name is Jody Armstrong, I’m 23 and I am from Saskatchewan, Canada. I started travelling when I was 16, but didn’t become addicted until I was 19. I’ve been to France, Spain, U.S., Mexico, Greece, Germany(barely), Italy and soon I’ll be heading to Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Japan, and Thailand. I travel because I want to understand the world. My dream is to work with immigrants and refugees in Canada and to best assist them I need to have seen more than my own country. I also travel to better myself. Travelling has taught me to enjoy the little things, to let go of the little things, to rely only on myself, to love myself, and to allow myself to be free. While travelling I’ve experienced the most fear, anxiety, loneliness, and anger towards the world that I’ve ever felt, however it’s also made me feel the highest levels of joy, pleasure, and freedom that I’ve ever experienced. One of my craziest experiences: A) Sleeping alone in an airport in Madrid to, spur of the moment, catch the next plane to an island I had never heard of to meet up with two crazy Canadians I had met the day before to learn how to surf, which I successfully did. B) when I somehow skipped going through customs when re-entering to Canada from Greece after 4 months abroad and convincing airport security that my check bag was actually carry-on approved… Doesn’t sound too crazy, but ask me for the full version and you’ll realize it was the most ridiculous thing ever. Craziest person I’ve met: I met a girl from Korea who was travelling on her own, with about $400, she had had her phone and all communication devices stolen and was completely unable to contact home, but she was still travelling. And not to the typical locations. When I met her she was on her way to Egypt, Morocco, and some African countries. ALONE! With NO communication and basically no money…. And she was the friendliest, happiest, bubbliest person. She even invited me to Korea.
So, #GoDo. Buy your tickets, climb that mountain you have a picture of on your bedroom wall, stop procrastinating. What do you want to tell your grandkids when they ask you about your life? Do you want to tell them you had a good job, made lots of money, and lived a secure content life? Or, do you want to be able to tell them about the one time you went swimming in the ocean in your underwear at 4am, got a tattoo with someone you just met, sang spice girls karaoke in a basement club with no one else who spoke English, and convinced your mother to illegally train hop with you?
The decision is yours. #GoDo