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This Powerful 51-Year Old Story Will Inspire You to Travel More (And Change Your Life)

I remember how, for a time at least, my perception of peace, love and harmony-loving Canada took a hit when I visited sites where over 150, 000 aboriginal children were forced to adopt Canadian culture and pretty much kill off their own identity. The infamous Canadian ‘cultural genocide’ of the 1950s led to the death of about 6,000 indigenous Indian children in the Indian R Schools. The whole issue blew up when the tragic story of Chanie ‘Charlie’ Wenjack was captured and broadcast to the world via a February 1, 1967, magazine article by journalist, Ian Adams. The 12-year old, Ojibway Indian boy ran away from Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Ontario, Canada some 51 years ago. For a brutal 3 years, he was forced to kill his true self to adopt a culture he could not understand. It was overwhelming. He became depressed but found the courage to walk home to his family, where he belonged--a deadly 400 miles with nothing but a few matchsticks. He had to trudge through heavy Northern Ontario snow to get to where he wanted to belong—his home and among his people… …only for the cold and hunger to catch up with him just 22 miles away along the rail line near Redditt, Ontario.

Now here’s a scenario for many of us:

You barely travel. And when you do, you keep rolling back and checking into the same travel destinations year over year. You might feel you don’t have the time or ‘pleasure’ to learn how to plan a weekend getaway—or create and stick to the ultimate bucketlist Perhaps, you feel, you need to learn how to plan a trip on short notice. And it would help a bunch if only you had a resourceful site you can use to find the best travel destinations for you—and one you can trust to give you the real story without sugar-coating an experience. Often, the dash and gash of planning a vacation or a simple travel plan weighs you down because it feels like too much work. Other times, you just struggle to find the inspiration to travel. Any of these narratives read familiar to you? Yap, that sound you hear is the moan of hundreds of people who’d like to free up some time and pack up for a bunch of fulfilling trips.

Daring to live the life you have always wanted

If there is a major takeaway to take up on in the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack, it is about gathering the courage to live the life you want. You deserve to travel more often. You do not have to find deals to get paid to travel the world. And neither are you too old or too young to start traveling more often. Take a moment and think about that. Traveling has the power to ignite positive change in your life. Traveling to New York City for the first time changed my life. It was particularly empowering to see, hear and share moments with women who continue to assert themselves as remarkable human beings that deserve equal treatment at work, in business, personal relationships, and leadership. It was my first true encounter with positive feminism. And darn has it been empowering!

To Travel is to Live

You can bet Hans Christina Andersen meant every word in that quote. When you travel you get to experience other people’s successes, pains, little joys, perspectives. This Chinese fable lesson (later made into a Japanese proverb) sags under the weight of wisdom and truth in it: “A frog in a well knows not of the great ocean” You learn to think beyond your own little world, beyond your shortcomings and wins. You gain a whole new perspective that shakes you to your core. Travel ignites anticipation, beats a bored-to-tears lifestyle, awakens your curiosity and powers up the life switches within. Science agrees traveling is great for your health, too; mind, body, and soul. Taking a trip will help you remain young forever. Forever young at heart. It is an amazingly engaging and enchanting experience when you allow yourself to connect with different people, experience new environments, fill up on exotic food, and even engage in various rituals (hopefully legal). This is what I continue to find out whenever I take the initiative to find the best travel destinations for me.

Travel Pays In Incredible Ways

For me, meeting all the people boosts my ability to get into character as a bubbling actress. That is just me. Your travel experiences will enrich your life experience, and impact other crucial areas of your life such as:  In building rapport with your customers  Kill gross familiarity and outright boredom in your personal relationships  Boost your social engagement—with all the distractions and boulders life in the 21st century can build among us  Make you feel more fulfilled as you step out from your comfort zone—the bold move to move can empower you to transform other ruts in your life and help you to make things happen  Need to think things through? I find switching my backpacker lifestyle on helps me to unwind and put things into perspective, so I can improve whatever that needs my attention

Travel to Experience More and Stress Less

In the words of Gustav Flaubert: “Travel makes one modest. You (get) to see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” For me, this quote is right on the money and inspired me to travel more—even on a tight budget and tight schedule. At only 17 years old, I kickstarted my travel-enriched lifestyle and landed in Canada. I had just graduated from high school. You might relate to how depressing it can feel when you are just starting to figure out what to do with the rest of your life. It can feel overwhelming and quite a number of us even fall out into depression thinking about it. I needed a breather, but not an escape. The one-month stay in Canada was therapeutic for me. I gathered my wits and resolved to focus on what I truly wanted to do—become an accomplished actress.

What if you can’t afford to travel, how do you budget for your next trip?

When I made the decision to manifest my desire to travel around the world, and start a travel blog to share and encourage more people to experience the world as well, I struggled to make time, money and commitment to it. I am from Kenya, and saving for travel was not a goal a minimum wage-like income could support at the time. I am also an actress, and my schedule can be hectic at times—a whole lot of times. While some of the acting roles I sign up for do bring me opportunities to travel, I still have to dedicate time to planning and pursuing my ultimate passion for traveling around the world—even when “tied down” to long-hour assignments. There are several ways to raise money for your next trip. Check around this blog for a couple of smart ways you can use to afford and pay for your next travel experience.

What if you are afraid?

You might ask, who’s afraid to travel for Earth’s sake? But, understandably, you might have some perceptions that fuel your fear of traveling. Maybe you went to a place once and felt discriminated against. Perhaps you experienced a traumatic event that shook you down to bits and have not had the courage to recollect and fight back ever since. “Be fearless in your pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” ~ Jennifer Lee

Takeaway

Chanie Wenjack may have died but his courageous effort to step out of a rut led to the abolishment (and public apology) of the century-old IRS bog. And a film, catalog of powerful books and other influential materials later, Chanie’s boldness was incredibly significance. Will you take the initiative to travel more often, or stick to the system and excuses? Traveling won’t kill you. But not doing it might very well kill your soul.

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