Travel the world, find yourself

Margot Vanfleteren

Written by Margot Vanfleteren, AIESEC Belgium

196 countries, 7 continents, 270 nationalities and 300 languages.

Enough to explore and discover during your life.

Right now I’m 21 years young. Throughout my life I had the opportunity to travel the world. Currently I’ve visited all continents. When people ask me what my life goal or dream is I have only one answer, visit all countries in the world. When people ask me what I want to do later, I have only one answer, work abroad. Among my friends most of us have seen quite a big part of the world and most of us do speak different languages. When I checked the globe I noticed that I have an acquaintance in 164 countries.

Right now I’m in university. In other words I had the chance to pass 17 years of my life in classes to pursue a job in the end. The goal of school is to educate children but as well to connect youngsters. Although I must be honest the best education is experience. This on every field of life, relationships & professional life. Most of the things in my life, apart from writing & counting and a little more complicated things, I’ve learned during my journey in the university of life. Big part of the teaching at university of life happens, up to my opinion, when travelling.

So one of the things I don’t get is why so many people are stuck behind their pc’s and television screens. I’m not a perfect person either and I also adore to be active on twitter and other social media but I do exit my room to go travelling.

Living in the heart of Brussels. Being actively involved in AIESEC and having several cross country projects means that I get to travel a lot. Europe is so easy to travel through in comparison to other countries such as America or Australia. So if there is one thing I’m trying to do is to travel within Europe as much as possible.

Excuses I hear so much related to travelling and really don’t agree with:

1)      It’s expensive

As said beforehand we’re living in Europe. We have several low cost airlines but as well public transportation to bring us to neighboring countries. On social media you have blogs and pages, on facebook, dedicated to low cost travelling. All of these social media entries combined you can for sure find one deal per day.

You want to travel social? You can share rooms in hostels and travel even cheaper than booking hotels. Although keeping an eye on sites from hotels does also make a difference every once in a while.

2)      You don’t have to travel to meet new people

Please, if you’re using this one you haven’t travelled, you tried to travel.

Meeting citizens means that you have free guides and this means free life experiences. Part of travelling is that you get to know the local culture and this is only possible when meeting citizens. They can introduce you to other people and in the end you will have dozens new friends which makes the whole experience only better.

Getting to know other backpackers means that you can help each other out but as well broaden your network once more.

3)      I can’t travel because I only speak my native tongue

Learning languages out of school can be expensive if you want a good qualitative level. Besides you have to practice a language when you want to get used to the modes of speech. The easiest and most effective way to do that is talk to native speakers.

So you only speak one language? Adjust your lifestyle and you can learn as many languages as you want. It’s all about practice. If you travel a lot you can practice a lot of different languages. As I proposed beforehand meet new people, connect on social media and stay in touch. Make a mutual agreement that you speak each other’s language and you’ll be able to practice your languages throughout your life.

4)      I have to go to school, work (or something else)

Yes all of us do have obligations and no I’m not asking you to cut them down. I’m just proposing you to open your eyes. I dare to bet that most of us do have weekends where they have things planned but hey, we have agendas so we can reschedule all wide spread out things in concentrated weekends so we have the rest of the month to travel.

I can assure you one thing. You will get rich. Not financial, in every case, but at least in experiences and connections.

Yes it requires some balls and self-esteem to be egocentric and plan a trip but in the end you’ll understand why I’m fighting to get everybody on a plane!

I’ve said enough, 820 words to be precise, I’m going to quit writing, unplug my pc and get into the city.

You’ve just read this article, most probably you’ve checked your facebook and twitter 4 times by the end of this article but now make sure to book your trip!

Within a few weeks I’m off for a trip myself! Let’s meet!


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  1. First of all I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how
    you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.

    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to
    15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to
    begin. Any recommendations or hints? Kudos!

    • margot vanfleteren says:

      Hi Margherita,

      Thanks for your nice words!

      Actually I only start writing if “I feel it”, then I take a blank paper and write all thoughts down. In the end it’s just a matter of connecting the dots…

      hope this helps

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