It’s 11:37 a.m. on a Thursday and you look at the same dusty digital clock that has sat on your desk for way too long. You still don’t understand how time can go by so slowly in the mornings. You probably start to think of things to distract you from your mundane routine like what you would do if you could. I bet you the first thing that annoying voice in your head says is “I’d travel.”
But why do so many people insist that traveling is their biggest life goal but never really take that trip? The reasons may sound understandable when it’s the voice in your head saying them, but most of them aren’t nearly as good of an excuse as we think.
Not every trip has to be an expensive one. There are tons of explorers who go on great expeditions but don’t spend their life savings. It’s all about the trip you want to go on. Where you go, where you sleep, where you find food and transportation all factor into the cost of a trip. Yes, you might have to save up if you go to Europe and book fancy hotels with great views near award winning restaurants. However, you could go to the same places in Europe, backpack and stay in hostiles, and save hundreds.
Not to mention, not every adventure has to be in Europe. Some of the world’s greatest explorers are people who jumped on a bike with a few supplies and rode with no destination. Seriously – there are people who have cycled around the world or climbed Mount Everest, all while spending the same amount that we spend on Starbucks every month. It really depends on what you want to get out of the experience.
If you want an expensive trip, learn how to save your money. Instead of eating out three times a week, make it one. Sell those old clothes that you never wear but keep thinking you’ll need for that Halloween costume one day. Get a job, or a part-time one if you already have a full-time job. Saving money can mean making sacrifices, but just think – those white sand beaches in Croatia will make it all worth it.
Commitments such as jobs, school, pets, or family members are the biggest anchor of them all. I’m not saying you should quit your job just for a week in Mexico, but every job has vacation time. Vacation days are literally scheduled days for you to go and explore an area that isn’t the city you’ve lived in your whole life. School is a bad excuse because you can take classes online, take semesters off or even study abroad. If you’re responsible for an animal, either take it with you or pay for someone to watch it. These really are easy fixes.
Jamie Bowlby-Whiting, who rafted down the Danube said: “It’s not the days in the office that we’ll reflect upon with nostalgia when we are old.”
Do not waste your life doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing. Eventually you will never get around to what you want to do.
Americans tend to overreact about the safety of traveling anywhere outside of our border. Although as a 19-year-old girl I can’t say that I would advocate traveling alone to foreign countries where you aren’t familiar with the language or costumes, but that too is an easy fix. Find a travel buddy! This can be a significant other, a friend, family, co-worker, or anyone who also wants to experience the world. This will make you feel more comfortable and you get to share the experience with someone else.
Ahhhh, good old laziness. It’s the main reason that we never do anything exciting with our lives. I’m not going to lie, traveling requires planning. You need to get tickets for flights in advance, schedule other transportation, find out what is going on in the area that you’re going to when you’ll be there and you may need to get materials. The first step I always take in anything that requires planning is to make a list:
- Where do you want to go?
- When do you want to go?
And then soon you’ll have planned a budget, bought tickets, told your boss when you’ll be out and bought a GoPro because you have to get the perfect selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Exploring is an amazing experience. You will learn and grow the more you travel, but you have to stop telling yourself that it isn’t the right time. There is no guarantee how long you have in this life, so live it the way you want.