Wonder vs. Wander

It’s not often that I ever really wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t started traveling. I don’t see much sense in thinking my things “could have been”. My life is how it is and I love it.I would inevitably drive myself crazy thinking about all the things that would be different if I had in fact never stepped foot on that plane 6 years ago to move from Montreal to Alberta & been bitten HARD by the travel bug.

Would I still be living with my parents? Or working a job that that was going nowhere? Would I have continued my studies? What friends would I have? Would I be settled down in a relationship of some kind? Would I have ever met who I thought was the love of my life? Would I be this content with being single? Would I have had my heart shattered? What would I think of all the people traveling like this?

And a whole plethora of other ridiculous questions that would make anyone’s brain ache.


Like I said I don’t often think about that because I’m proud of where my life is and how I’m living it. It may not be the lifestyle for everyone, and I get that. But for me? For me it’s bliss. The adventure, the “wandering”, the excitement, all of it drives me and I thrive off of knowing how much of the world I still have left to see. And it puts a knot in my stomach whenever I think about my life being any other way to be completely honest. The idea of living in the same town I grew up in and working the same mundane job I had when I was in school is something that makes me cringe. I left my home in Montreal 6 years ago and never really looked back. I’ve grown up immensely in that time and realized just how much the world had to offer and how much I want to experience it all. And in this last year it’s become ever more apparent how much I need to keep living this lifestyle, need and want to really. And although the next chapter of my life is and has been lot different than adventuring off to New Zealand’s mountains, Australia’s surf spots or trekking through Central American jungles I’m doing my best to make it an adventure in itself.

I don’t want to ever wake up one day and wonder what could have been if I had just booked that flight or said yes to that road trip. Although at the moment I have a full time job (with a company I love) and taking off for a long term adventure isn’t in the cards just yet, I have been gifted with plenty of opportunities to explore Canada’s west coast on long weekends & even spent nearly two weeks at the start of this year exploring Hawaii. I’m grateful to have a job that allows time off and continually fuels my passion for travel and the adventurous spirit I have. When anything comes up I make a point to say yes. I like to live by the “just go” mentality. There are A LOT of excuses to be made in this day and age; “too expensive”, “too far”, “no one can come with me”, “what about my bills?”…and hundreds of others we make up on a weekly basis to not do something. I’m not guilt free on that either, I spent nearly a year making all the excuses under the sun on why I was still living in a town I disliked, working a job that didn’t fulfill me, and feeling absolutely miserable with how my life was. People told me exactly what I just told you..”just go Laura”, “stop making excuses, they’ll always be there”.

Then one night feeling exceptionally sad about my life I found myself online in the wee morning hours on SkyScanner..and the next thing I knew I had 2 one way tickets to Costa Rica and New Zealand! I got ride of the excuses, I told myself that if I didn’t make a change that I wouldn’t get any happier. And I couldn’t imagine getting any less happy than I was, so that was it. I booked those flights almost two years ago and I can’t even imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn’t. I don’t like to wonder about that. I booked those trips, I explored those countries & found exactly what it was that I was missing – wandering. I wandered my way through 3 countries in Central America over 2 months by myself – something I never imagined myself ever doing. I’m better for it. I’m more confident for it. And I can’t recommend solo travel enough to people (to anyone, not just females).

If you have that wonder in your life. If you wonder what it might be like to spend a month in Europe exploring old cities & beautiful coastlines. Or wonder what it would be like to see snow for the first time at Christmas. Do everything in your power to make that happen. Do daydream about far off places you’re going to visit one day. And do look back on the places you’ve visited with the fondest of memories. But don’t make that all your life is about. Experience than wonder come to life. Push yourself a little and you will find that it was worth any excuse you could have made. Spend a weekend in San Francisco but have to eat instant noodles for a few days to make up the difference? So be it. It will be worth it in the end. Make sure that if the opportunity to do something new & exciting (even a little scary) comes your way you let it sweep you up into a new adventure.

And always, always let that wonder turn into a wander

Laura Oxley