It’s been a long time since I wrote a reflective and more personal piece.
In the last 1.5years, I’ve been blessed to be able to turn travelling into a full time job. I work with brands, create content, and help them market their products. Not only have I been able to travel for free, I’ve also been able to earn a basic living from it. And now I have a small team that believes in the longer term plans of the company.
Yet lately I’ve been terribly unhappy. I get stressed easily, lose sleep (understatement), feel anxious, and am constantly worried about content/footage on my trips.
Will I be able to create a good video for my clients? Can my post go viral? What can we do to make our content better? Can we make the deadlines? What should we do if the weather goes bad? How can we maximise resources to sustain the team and business better?
The point is that I seem to have forgotten the reasons why I chose to go into travel. I forgot what it was like to discover and seek out new experiences. I forgot that time is necessary for serendipitous moments to happen. I forgot how much I love talking to locals and other travellers. I forgot how to have fun. I forgot how I used to travel as it turned into work.
While I occasionally comfort myself by saying this is more fun work instead of less fun travel, deep down I hope that there can be a better balance.
So here I am physically and mentally burnt out, exhausted. But I refuse to give up because I believe in the work I do.
It’s not much, but other than offering useful tips, I really hope to inspire more people to take that first step to travel with a more open mind. To not just travel to see the sights, but to also understand cultural differences and be more accepting to people different from us. To travel not just to show how awesome your life is, but to grow and develop as a person while understanding yourself. To be curious about how the world beyond our own world works. To throw yourself out there and step out of your comfort zones. To know that the world is not as dangerous as it seems. Travel is a great teacher, and I never want to forget that again.
So screw it, I’m going back to becoming a traveller. Content is still important in my line of work, but so is being true to yourself.
It’s going to be an uphill challenge, balancing both the business side of things and idealism. There will be times where work requirements will challenge the ideals. And other times where practicality needs to trump. But I’m going to fight the good fight and hopefully not lose myself again along the way.
There are bigger and longer term plans for The Travel Intern, and I hope to make them a reality in the next few years.
To future Hendric, accept that change and challenges are constant, but remember not to lose yourself. Also please take breaks.