During the fall of my senior year in college, I decided that I wanted to try something different. I wanted to connect with a world outside of one that I had become so attached to. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I was determined to get out of the United States and experience the most fascinating corners of the world (for free). After tons of research, thousands of questions, hundreds of back and forth emails and a few interviews later, I became a Luce Scholar.

Mission accomplished. I was moving to India.

Graduation was fast approaching and I had an entire apartment full of stuff. A few ideas crossed my mind, but none made more sense than selling everything. I began to go through my things and sorted through what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to give away or sell. The premise was simple: The sale, hosted at my apartment, was an as-is-sale. We didn’t move anything, we just put price tags on everything. I took a deep breath and let go. It wasn’t easy, but it was best.

How did I do it? I just did it. We’ve been taught to accumulate and hoard things that we can never transfer from this life. I reassured myself that it would be an opportunity to rebuild my wardrobe with different things from around the world.
Now that I’ve shared my story, I want to help you create your own. Below are a few steps to begin your journey.

If you’re afraid of traveling alone:
Each journey is a deeply personal one; you grow by yourself and ultimately have to deal with aspects of your life that no one else may see. If the reason you don’t want to travel alone is because you’re afraid of experiencing life without your friends or significant other, you will miss out. There is no better feeling upon returning stateside than knowing that you conquered the world—solo.

If money is your problem:
Money will always be a problem. You’ll never have enough and you’ll always want a little more.


If you need to understand the importance of travel:
We travel because we want to learn & experience. Somewhere deep down, we want to feel the connection amidst the difference of culture, location, opinion and lifestyle. We want to know that we are still human and that we still cry, fear, laugh and hope the same.

If you are afraid of flying:
There is something exhilarating about knowing that a flight as little as 5 hours can take you to a place so different, you’d have to strain to recognize it. The fear of flying is very real, and while I’m terrified of flying, I’ve challenged myself to hop on a plane at least 3 times a month.

If you need to make career justifications:
Travel diversifies your experiences, it better positions you to work with (and be more accepting of) others, and makes you more creative.

 
Travel Noire

Zim Ugochukwu

Zim is an avid photographer, visual storyteller, classically trained pianist, junk foodie, vegetarian, and occasional building climber. She is the founder & CEO of Travel Noire.

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