d o n ' t l e t y o u r l i f e b e s h o r t
- by Olivia Salsbery
We’re global. Our pursuits are global, our thoughts are global and our dreams are global. We have officially reached out of where we are and into foreign lands in exchange for lifetimes spent wandering and exploring, adventuring and learning, soaking in and breathing out. We often equip ourselves with the ability to travel because that’s the most important thing: getting to where we want to be, physically, while the mental and emotional catches up once we get there. We swap stories, ideas, innovations and we create empires of inspiring interactions and breathtaking views.
Maybe this doesn’t apply to everyone in the world, but it applies to a big group of people now. Whether it is traveling to the Philippines for anthropological research, backpacking across Europe, off-roading through an African safari, wandering through the Pacific Northwest or ice walking across Antarctica – we’re everywhere and there’s a lot of us that want to be everywhere.
I grew up traveling; like many people today, I see traveling as an investment, not for a return in anything but happiness. Since I was little, my parents engrained in me the value of going to an unknown land, meeting unknown people, walking unknown paths and loving it. To not be nervous about being alone and to not shy away from any opportunity - to just go. Since then, travel hasn’t been my pastime; it’s been my lifestyle.
If there’s one thing I encourage you to do, it is to live life around adventures. Anticipating what’s to come, but even more so, finding adventure in your every day’s. When I travel, I find myself more still, more open and more tuned into what’s going on. This is probably a natural reaction to observing an unfamiliar place, but it’s exactly what I love about traveling. I can just be silent and learn. If I take this principle of solitude and awareness into my life at home – that ‘travel mentality’ even in familiar places – I become a better version of myself.
I often make lists of where I want to go, but just the other day my mind started drifting not to the thousands of places I have yet to see, but instead to the incredible places I’ve been; the places I often feel homesick for even if I had only been there a few days. I reveled in the sense of calm when I drifted back to mornings spent cliffside in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast of Italy with the salty air wisping around my face and the sea mist clinging to my body. When I drifted back to the rush of wind as we sped across the Icelandic countryside, witnessing minimalism at its finest and sheep that had no need to be fenced in. When I drifted back to crying from my laughter as my family sat around the terrace of our villa on Naxos Island in Greece, playing music and cherishing the moment of where we were.
We’re often told to live in the moment. We’re often told to go explore. We’re often told to move forward, to progress, it’s the very definition of our society: progression. I say return. Do the other things as well, but don’t be afraid to return again and again to what you cherish most.
We often hear, the “life is short,” take advantage of it, etc. speech, but at the same time, it’s really not. We live longer than many other living beings on the planet. We live cognitive and intelligent lives. Life isn’t so short. Don’t get me wrong, it can be cut short and I have lost loved ones before I should have, but we have time. We have time to soak in moments, we have time to explore and we have time to return. The only reason we wouldn’t is if we don’t use the time we have to do those things. Life is only short if we make it short. If you want something, extend your hand to it and it will come in some way or other. The best steps we can take are towards acknowledging where we want those steps to take us, whether it be returning or exploring or simply standing still.
Travel is a lifestyle. Take time to experience the mindset of traveling. I know not all situations allow for it, but I encourage you to take the opportunity if you have it. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of someone not at least learning from an adventure. Even if your shoe gets stuck in a rice paddy, the flight gets canceled or you find yourself staring at someone because you have no idea what they said, there is always something in everything, our ability is to find it and cherish it.
Don’t let your life be short. Let yourself live fluidly in your own happiness and you will live forever.
Olivia Salsbery is a native to the Midwest, but has created a lifestyle that is truly global. Currently based in Oklahoma and focusing on a career in Public Relations. She has literally traveled the world, and brings her community along with her via Destination Blank (@destination_blank).