I have found myself in a position, a place, a community of people right now who ignite something in me. It is always there, some days it is stronger than others: Passion. The motivation and inspiration we can muster from inside our own minds.
Abilities are only defined by ourselves. Travel motivates me to continually want to be the best version of myself.
The Power of Passion and Motivation to Travel
I am about to get hands on in Cambodia and Vietnam facing one of my fears, a world people live in that I couldn’t have comprehended up until recently but I also know I want, can, and will impact.
The focus of the tour is to empower. To focus on projects within communities and be a change that lasts beyond what I do in my time here whilst still enjoying the wonders of the world our journeys take us on. ‘Voluntourism’ gets a (rightly so in a lot of cases) bad rep and is a word so loosely defined I am not even sure what it means.
I want to be part of Sustainable tourism. That I believe is the future and the company, Hands on Journeys has exactly the same idea.
Like everyone before taking their first trip I guess, I simply wanted to see something new. The Eifel Tower because well, everyone says to. The beaches of Thailand because they were picture perfect.
But the journey I have been on over the last couple of years completely changed the answer. I wanted to travel to inspire, to learn, to be the change I wanted to see in the world and, to be more specific, the tourism industry.
To put it simply, I didn’t want to be the person complaining about what upset me but to be the person who would try to create a difference in whatever I knew was a problem.
As such my passion was born, a new purpose. I wanted to travel, photograph and discover but I also wanted to spread the news of the hardships faced in places I went, to be caught up in moments not captured in a photo. To help others know what I learnt on the way so they could shape their trips around knowledge and potentially make a different.
From that my want to share stories, this blog, was born and I took the plunge to just go and do it. I wanted to explain why travel isn’t a right we can go into blindfolded or how sometimes we just need to follow our heart instead of a guidebook. To believe that if people knew Elephants are tortured, beaten and tied up they might re-consider riding one.
Tourism is such a massive influence, especially in the developing world and we all need to remember the part we play in shaping the cultures we touch and can take so much from.
What is passion?
In the words of Wikipedia: Passion (from the Greek verb πασχω meaning to suffer) is a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.
To me: Simply, it is whatever you want it to be. Whatever drives you to push boundaries, to do something you didn’t think possible. To achieve goals that otherwise would be unattainable. It is that passion, that spark, that somehow gets you there.
Does it matter what it is?
Hell no. Only to you. I try to surround myself with passionate people yet know my life would be boring and lack enlightenment if everyone I was close to shared exactly the same interests.
No matter what you focus on, what job you do or hurdle you want to climb as long as you have passion for it, go for it and truly believe in it then you are my kind of person.
The cliche saying of ‘If you find something you love you will never do a day’s work in your life’ is actually pretty accurate.
I hear a lot of my friends telling me how lucky I am to travel but actually, it was just a priority. I was a waiter who worked hard. I then progressed to run restaurants which gave me a salary allowing me to travel. I decided I wanted to change so I got a camera a couple of years ago and sat in watching videos and reading books to learn how to use it whilst friends went partying instead. But in reality, their priorities are different.
Luck is the country I was born into and the family I had as I learnt in Laos. The 90 hour weeks, not going shopping, the things I achieved as a result of that was different. It was a drive to succeed so I could hit my long term goal. It was passion.
My point is most people living in the ‘first world’ are able to get a waiters job. From there, it is in your hands.
But why do we do anything?
It is a question I started to ask myself more and more towards the end of my career in Hospitality. The reason I loved that industry was the people, but certainly not just the customers.
My buzz came from being able to teach people, give them new skills, watch them progress and achieve possibilities they didn’t know were possible.
My passion was people. I have no idea why, but it has and always will be.
Then there came a stage when I wanted that passion to make a real impact beyond the world I felt safe and comfortable in. That was where travel came in.
Why should you make passion your priority?
We can spend our lives getting caught up in the small stuff. Stressing out over something that really does not matter long term. Allowing our time to be dictated in a way that is counter-productive.
Whatever your current situation and obstacles are I urge you to still chase it. Do still put it at the top of your list. In whatever shape, capacity or timeline that life allows: let your passion consume you, motivate you and inspire yourself.
Let it better yourself and the world around you. However close or far that may be.