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 go 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 when my friend in Shanghai Facetimed me at 11pm. He was drinking gin and tonic from his balcony and wanted to engage me in 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 to 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 to not, 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 get what we want (insert travel).
Here are your five excuses:
1. “I can’t afford to travel.”
Really? Because I met a few eighteen year old German-Ukranian Au Pairs living and traveling in Australia to practice their English before going to university; they half hosteled, half CAMPED. I’ve met people getting by through CouchSurfing, and people who put careers on 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?
2. “I don’t have time to travel.”
Like you didn’t have time to study in college or 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. Do you plan on being there the next forty years? If your answer is no, reserve gaps that become available for your travel period.
You can even add travel to your resume.
3. “I’m comfortable. I have everything in my city or State, why would I want to leave?”
Growth, by definition, is the essence of “living.”
Different is good. 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:
“5 Ways: How to Meet People While Traveling.”
All I can say is: you’ve got this! If you really want to go travel. You can. I believe in you.