This Guy Went After His Lifelong Dream To Travel The World And What He Did Will Amaze You
The journey is the reward.
What if your only dream is to travel the world?
Felix Starck, a 24-year-old German, always had a passion for traveling. After graduating from sports management, Felix got a nice spot in the sports department of Mercedes-Benz. But his wanderlust heart was always yearning for more so on June 2013 he sent on a journey of a lifetime.
Together with his friend, Felix decided to go on a year-long voyage around the world. On his bicycle. He sold everything he had: his car, flat, basically all of his stuff. The trip started from his hometown Herxheim in Germany, followed up to Istanbul, Turkey and further around the world (see the full itinerary here).
18.000 kilometers, 22 countries, 365 days.
Before starting his adventure, Felix says 99 percent of friends and family didn't believe he could make it. In the first weeks of cycling, he didn't believe it himself either. But after some time it got easier. "The journey is the reward," says Felix, so he kept on going even after his partner quit.
After crossing 22 countries, Asia made the biggest impact on him, Felix told A+. Despite wondrous landscapes, Felix says he saw so much misery there that it really made him appreciate things he has in life.
Watch this short excerpt from Felix's upcoming documentary about his world trip:
Felix says this was the best journey of his life and it turned him into a much happier person.
"I spent a year living totally simple. To make morning coffee, I had to find water, then boil it on the gas stove which took forever. Here, I have a clean bed, a shower, I press the button on the machine and the coffee comes hot already. Madness," Felix told Spiegel.
To inspire more people to follow their dreams, Felix shared six tips with us on how to set yourself on the journey of a lifetime.
1. Stop making excuses.FELIX STARCK
Excuse #1: traveling is expensive. "So choose a cheaper destination, cheaper transportation, cut the costs on accommodation, don't buy silly fridge magnets for 5 euros. Remember, "travel is the only you buy that makes you rich".
Excuse #2: it takes a lot of time. "Saying you don't have time to travel is like saying you don't have time to live," says Felix. Asking yourself what makes you happy and letting yourself go with it is the first step to living your life to the fullest. "I had the desire to go out and discover the world so that's what I did and it make me stronger in many ways. It was definitely the best 365 days of my life," Felix told A+.
Excuse #3: nobody wants to come with me. "You're grown-ass men and women, accept that not everyone's dreams and plans align with yours. Holding yourself from new experiences because of others shouldn't be something on your agenda. I started cycling with a friend but after 4 weeks he'd quit. I cycled 18,000 kilometers by myself and it was the best decision ever," Felix said.
2. Adjust your plans to your possibilities.FELIX STARCK
Okay, not everyone can take a 365 day-long vacation from work or have a 12,000 euros stashed in their bank accounts. But that shouldn't stop you from traveling and if you're not convinced enough, read the advice above once more.
"I think the things that prevent people from going on a journey often only exist in their heads," Felix told A+. "If you really want to go, there will be a solution - at least you should try to find one. Just start with one step, everything else will follow. If your boss doesn't allow you to leave for half a year, he might say yes to 3 months. Just adapt your dreams to your situation."
3. Pick the best destination for YOU.FELIX STARCK
"Start with a place you've been dreaming of forever," says Felix. "Consider the weather and what you want to do on your journey. You love outdoor sports? Go to New Zealand. You want to be on your own? A temple in Bali or a trip to the desert might be the right choice. The most important thing is that you have the right to decide."
Still not sure? Make a random choice. Felix says he also couldn't decide on the ultimate spot so he chose to visit as many as possible. Being flexible can lead you to a great deal of adventures. "I learned quickly that plans made beforehand only hold you back. The journey is the reward, after all," Felix told A+.
4. Traveling alone is not as bad as it may seem.FELIX STARCK
Discovering new things with a companion often seems safer, easier and maybe even more fun. But being alone can be very refreshing and revealing. Going solo tempers your spirit, gives you time to put things in perspective, ultimately - exposes you to a much greater deal of knowledge.
"From time to time it can get very lonely, I admit. I definitely learned that the things you see gain a bigger worth once you share them with someone," says Felix. But that someone can be yet another wanderlust you met along the way.
5. Stay positive and you'll be rewarded.FELIX STARCK
According to Felix, things go wrong all the time, but the benefits are often much greater. Instead of getting annoyed, you should use your time to discover new things.
Along the way, he caught a virus, cycled through a flood in Thailand, changed numerous companions, faced lung problems due to pollution... "I probably had more downs than ups, but the good moments were so great, they easily made up for all the bad days," says Felix.
6. Plan the next trip.FELIX STARCK
Coming back from the trip and finding yourself in the old ways can be overwhelming. Felix's advice is - plan the next trip!
Until it comes, try to incorporate the new things you discovered into your daily routine. Also, think of the things you really missed while being gone, like sleeping in your own bed, a hot shower, meeting a friend and going to the movies together. "Those were the things you missed, remember?" says Felix.
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