“As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do..” Zachary Scott
As I was doing some travel hashtag searching the other day, I stumbled across this quote. With a rather large birthday coming up for me next March, I began to reflect on some of my travel regrets. Now I’m not THAT old yet, but as I began typing this post I’ve realised that I certainly don’t want to have any travel regrets over the next 29 years…
School Music Study Tour
My high school offered two choir tours while I was studying there – one to China in Year 9 and the other to Argentina in Year 12. Okay, so I had a huge number of assignments, exams and tests to complete during Year 12, so that probably wasn’t the best time to fly across the world. But I wish that when I was 14 I had stepped out of my comfort zone and visited China for two weeks. The Great Wall, The Terracotta Army, The Forbidden City…now I need a bank account as big as a giant panda to fund my visit!
It would have taken a lot of courage for the shy 16-year-old me to travel to Japan or France, but I wish I’d done one of the shorter exchanges. My friend travelled to Paris for about four weeks, which I probably could have handled back then – enough time to sample macarons, escargots and fresh baguettes without missing home (too much)!
I still have the Quebec postcard from my good friend who studied part of her degree in Canada. I’m keeping it as a reminder of how I felt when those beautiful photos turned up in my mailbox – extremely happy for her, but my heart feeling heavy with regret. No, I hadn’t made the most of the extensive opportunities constantly emailed to us. Yes, I had ignored the signs posted on billboards around our uni campus. Unless I completely change my career, experiencing uni in another country is something I’ll never be able to do.
Spending all the money I earned in my part-time job
It was mighty difficult balancing full-time uni and my part-time job at a fast food restaurant, so I deserved to go shopping and buy myself nice things, right? Well yes, but looking back I grimace at the thought of all the money I wasted on clothes and nights out. I can recall a hideous silver dress and a pair of brown beaded earrings, both of which still had the tags attached when I sold them for a couple of dollars at the local markets. I’d like to look back on my payslips and see how many overseas trips I could have paid for. Then again, maybe that’s not such a good idea…
Dear readers, do you have any travel regrets? Post them below!