Everyone is different. This article might not be for you. Or my upcoming pint-sized drill sergeant spiel might be everything you’ve been dying to hear.
Finally, someone’s going to say it.
Why aren’t you traveling?
Let’s be practical here; let’s make feasible goals. I give you one year to travel. Six months if you’re an over-achiever. The question at hand is not why aren’t you traveling this minute, it’s why aren’t you traveling in the near future?
It was a Saturday night and I was working until about 11 PM when my friend in Shanghai Facetimed me, drinking gin and tonic from his balcony for a drunken philosophical conversation. Flashback to UCLA’s ZBT. Yeah you drinking philosophers; you know I love you.
He wanted to know WHY NOT NOW? Why do we make goals that we start later? Why do we set New Year’s Resolutions. Why do we need an event, a person – – a DEADLINE – – to make our dreams into goals.
I guess I couldn’t answer his questions because I’ve always been a “why not” kind of girl. If there’s a logical reason why I shouldn’t do something, I probably won’t. But if there are more reasons to do something than there are not to, I’m going to do it.
All self-discipline aside, it’s really about how much we want something (insert travel), and what we are willing to give up to have what we want (insert travel).
Here’s your five excuses:
1. “I can’t afford to travel.”
Really? Because I met a few eighteen year old German-Ukranian Au Pairs living in Australia traveling Down Under to practice their English before going into university. They half hosteled, half CAMPED. I’ve met people via Couch Surfing, I’ve met people who put careers in Wall Street or investment banking on hold to work in SE Asia as tour guides.
I gave up my car, my apartment, and a dream career. What are you willing to put on hold?
Fiscal spending is a matter of organization and strategy. Yes, you can afford to travel.
2. “I don’t have time to travel.”
Like you didn’t have to study in college or to work out at the gym? Maybe you don’t have time to call your grandma either.
I’m joking. Kind of. Your career might not allow for you to take time off of work. Do you plan on being there the next forty years? If your answer is no, reserve that gap for your travel period.
3. “I’m comfortable. I have everything in my city or State, why would I want to leave.”
Since when is change bad? If we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing. Growth, by definition is the essence of “living.”
Different, is good. Different is great. When we’re exposed to new places, cultures, perspectives, interests, and even challenges, we re-shape our own thoughts regarding the “other” and “self.” Popping our social and cultural bubble is the first step towards greater understanding,
… and you have to admit, sometimes you have to get a little uncomfortable to have a little fun!
4. “I’m afraid.”
I was terrified. As I move forward with more and more confidence in this new career as a professional traveler, I continue to overcome fears. Said discomfort, change, and differences can be unsettling. But how cool is not settling!
As a young, female traveler, I do understand how chasing sunsets in foreign destinations is threatening. But I do think that you CAN muster the courage to travel, and you will LOVE it!
5. “I don’t have anyone to travel with.”
Well one: stop hating on yourself; you can totally handle some you time. You can also meet people while traveling, and won’t actually be alone throughout your travels. Need a little more security? Try signing up to volunteer abroad, book a tour group, and check out this article.
All I can say is: you’ve got this! If you really want to travel. You can. I believe in you.