Luck has nothing to do with travel

I tell people I am blessed. But they argue that I am lucky.

It is humbling when they tell me they’d like to be me – luck or not, and be able to go just anywhere, backpack and enjoy being with myself in faraway lands.

But I tell you this again – luck has little to do with it all, especially when it comes to travel.

I will let you in on my secret concept – it will tell you why luck is not what makes me travel.

I call it the 3D.

I can also tell you that without this, this geographically challenged girl who had never spoken to strangers or packed a bag until she was seventeen, would never have stepped out to explore the world all alone- yes, that girl is me!

arc de triumphThe 3D’s

  1. Determination
  2. Dedication
  3. Direction

This changed everything for me.

What is luck?

I understand that no one intends to be disrespectful when they say I’m lucky, but I want to make it clear that luck has nothing to do with it.

  1. Luck implies some sort of random chance.
  2. Luck implies circumstances outside of my control.
  3. Luck is when you are in the right place at the right time.
  4. The only lucky people are game show contestants. Everyone else needs to make a choice.

Random Chance
: Everything I’ve done, I have wanted to. I made a conscious effort to travel around the world. I made hard decisions. I will be the first to admit that I have been very fortunate to have done all the things I’ve done, and I’m grateful every day to live the life that I do, but it isn’t a matter of luck or a random chance that fell into my lap.

Outside circumstance: I ask you this – how am I lucky because I walked the Kokoda Track? Did someone walk in my shoes? Did someone choose my destination? Did someone train for me for months or did someone buy me an air ticket for the trip? Did someone else risk life in the merciless forests?

I chose this trip myself. Luck had nothing to do with my choice. This wasn’t something that happened because I could not control it – in fact I did because I wanted to.

If you desire to see the world, you need to make it a priority in your life. You can’t just wish that “someday” you will get to travel because “someday never comes.”

Don’t rely on luck.


Right place, right time:
Luck is when you are in the right place at the right time. But was I ever there? No. Let me give you an example.

Eg – When climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in March 2010, it was, by far the worst time to climb it. There was snow, blizzard and unusual wind. I was the only climber going up to Uhuru Peak that day – the other climber, a German returned from Kibo Hut after realizing that the blizzard could get worse.

So was I there at the right time? No and No.
But I persisted. Did luck have anything to do with it? No.
Was it beyond my control? No. No one forced me to push the tracks. I chose to.

Would you say it was luck or sheer determination? Luck would have been no blizzard and a clear day. Thus I say with absolutely conviction that luck had absolutely, positively nothing to do with it. This happened because I chose to risk it without counting on “getting lucky.”

Traveling is not gambling. It is a choice 

Luck is on game shows:
Life is not a game show. Or a game of luck. It is an everyday reality made up of choices and commitments to those choices.

I do get fired up when someone suggests luck. Luck would be if I was given a free ticket around the world. Luck would be if publishers fought each other to publish my book. But nothing like that ever happened. So, I’d like to correct those who think I am lucky.

This comes from knowing what you want to do and what you actually do.



  1. That’s well written. Wishing you more travels, and the strength to make difficult choices.

  2. Aptly put. Sometimes knowingly or unknowingly. we tend to trivialize the effort and determination of an individual. Wish you more memorable journeys and experiences.

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