Since I started traveling back in 2016, I have met people who have explored hundreds of countries, dived the Great Blue Hole in Belize, surfed the most amazing waves in the world, and more. Then, on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I have met a lot of people that have a pre-made list of reasons or excuses as to why they cannot get out there and experience the world. I am not writing this post to make people feel inferior to their current situations since some people really don’t have the privilege to travel. I am writing this to poke fun at some of the statements I have received and shed a little light on how to overcome certain limitations so that more of you can get out there and experience adventure beyond your wildest dreams – These are ten reasons why you shouldn’t travel and why they’re holding you back from your most epic adventures.
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We’ve all been there, gazing at travelers in luxury hotels, spending their days drinking sponsored champagne in a rose-filled tub wondering how you could achieve such #travelgoals. I know I have, but that was before I realized how cheap traveling could be, and all the ways that I could save money to afford to go on trips. Some people go to great lengths to afford their travels; like eating ramen noodles for dinner every night or selling everything they own, but if that’s not your jam, then something as easy as hopping on someone else’s Netflix account and cutting out your daily coffee pit stop will save you enough for a domestic trip within your home country. Whether it is hopping on a train to France or making a road trip out to the Western United States, you can make it happen if travel is what you truly desire the most. If you blow your money like every day is payday at the mall, start writing down what you spend your money on and note places that you could cut expenses and put that into a savings account. My favorite motivational tool for saving money is comparing the costs of unnecessary purchases to what that could have gotten me in the destination that I wish to visit. $100 shoes vs. roughly 7-8 nights in Southeast Asia paid in full? Once you realize that you’re spending away your vacation on things you don’t need, you’ll be more willing to save so much that you end up on an episode of TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates! This tour above cost me around $20.00 USD! Often time it’s cheaper to travel than it is to stay in your home country!
The simple, and highly praised, solution to this is to travel solo. There is that one saying that goes, “If you wait on others to travel, you’ll never go anywhere”, or something along those lines and it couldn’t be truer. I think this is the last excuse in the book that people use because at this point funds are no issue, time is no issue, commitments are no issue, so instead of booking their trip, they toss in the towel, shrug their shoulders, and continue to wait until someone else is ready. Traveling solo doesn’t necessarily mean you’re alone or lonely. There are plenty of ways to meet people like booking and joining group tours, staying in a hostel dorm, and joining other groups for excursions you have planned. Going solo means traveling on your own terms, developing your confidence, meeting new people and getting all the say in what you do on each day of your trip. It is the ultimate freedom that I never get tired of.
This one time at my old job it was New Year’s Eve, and there was a man that walked in, in a full-on tuxedo ready to treat himself to a champagne and lobster dinner. The dinner cost upwards of $100+ just for him, and he didn’t care if he had a date because he had lobster. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of what every day of solo travel feels like: be like tuxedo guy.
No matter who you are, what your commitments are, or where you’re located, we all share a universal twenty-four hours as each day greets us, and what you do with them is entirely up to you. If traveling is a priority for you, you will make time for it. Now, while that is easier said than done, it is possible if you’re dedicated to making it happen.
Do you HAVE to be there? Will the entire company collapse and burst into flames if you take some time off? Sure, you may feel obligated to be at a job, or you may not feel confident in handing your position over to someone else while you’re away, but remember that you’re working for a place that would replace you in a weeks time if you were to leave. You’re fulfilling the needs of your employer, but what about your own needs? Remind yourself that it’s OKAY to take some time off for yourself and relax. It doesn’t make you a bad employee, it makes you human. I used to have a job where I literally could not get a day off approved even when I knew that I needed the break and the time to come back to myself. No job is worth keeping if it’s sacrificing your state of being. However, if you need to work that hustle for a little bit of time to save money like I did, keep trucking along and I am here rooting for you! I used to have to give a six-slide powerpoint presentation on why I needed a single day off and after I had switched jobs, there was no question if I needed two weeks of time off. I wasn’t reprimanded for leaving my position for a little while and I was encouraged to travel. Everyone deserves time off to travel and experience life outside of routine and comfort.
Oh man, you should have seen my grandma’s face when my eighteen-year-old self told her I was going to Indonesia alone… It was as if I had told her I was cutting off all my hair, dying it neon orange, and going off-grid to live off the land in Papua New Guinea. Now, my grandma has watched lifetimes of Hallmark movies, so I don’t blame her for worrying for her youngest granddaughter, but I was really just trying to go sip on coconuts and leisure on the beach for a few weeks. The trip went great, aside from my scooter accident, and I came back in one piece!
I think that the media has played one of the largest roles in highlighting the crime in all countries around the world, which has made it seem like no one can go anywhere without being a walking target, which is not the case at all. No matter where you go there is always going to be the opportunity of danger, but the vast majority of people are trying to live their lives in peace just like you and me. People like to generalize entire countries of people when they have only watched news stories with specific bias’ and have never been to the country. How does that make any sense? When I was planning my trip to the Philippines, I was warned with crime and other acts that would end up with me being in danger, but what was I welcomed with? The most accommodating, loving people that I have ever met and a new favorite country!
To all of my current readers enrolled in college in the United States, if you’re selling half your left kidney to go through schooling, you may as well take the required classes overlooking the city of Venice while stuffing your face with gelato for three months, am I right? Study abroad is an incredible way to immerse yourself in culture and language, especially if you’re going to be staying with a host family. Your first-hand look at local life will give you a home away from home within the markets, cafes, and friends that you meet while you’re studying, and that makes it harder to leave, but your urge to return will be even greater. Check with your college and see what majors or minors are offered abroad so you can get to packing and spend a semester in Europe or other parts of the world!
If you’re nervous about the language barrier, the best way to learn is to actually go to the country and purchase a dictionary for your time spent there. The best way to learn a language is through immersion, so you’ll be fluent en Francais et plus des langues en un rien de temps! One day I am hoping to spend a bit of time in the French countryside to brush up on my French before I let it fade from my memory, but a big thing that is helping me remember basic structure is Duolingo. I used it all throughout high school and it’s a great way to get the basics in before you head out on your trip! It’s free to use and there are tons of languages you can learn! Along with my French course, I am beginning to learn basic Japanese which I am incredibly stoked to use when I visit again!
I enjoy my slow mornings with a freshly brewed cup of familiarity as much as the next person, but leaving my comfort zone and spending time away from comfort provides extreme growth that you won’t ever get within your own country. Sure, you may not have all of the commodities in the country you’re visiting like you do at home, but you’re not traveling to have them with you every step of the way. You’re traveling to have a unique experience in an unfamiliar place. Once you experience a change of pace and try out new local cafes, you’ll appreciate those mornings at home even more than before, and it’ll actually make the thought of coming home not entirely too bad after all. My favorite thing to do on my way to and from the airport is stop by my go-to noodle spot up the road from where I live. It’s a small outing, but when you’re used to eating it around two to three times a week and you’re deprived of it for over four, that first taste topped the first time I had it!
What better way to spend a trip than with the one you adore most? Take them with you, and if they’re not up for the adventure, then head out solo! If you have a strong relationship with someone, then you will be able to last through time and a bit of distance. You can stay connected with them through Facetime, handwritten letters, postcards, and much more and it will strengthen your bond in the long run.
Do you feel like it’s a bad time in your career? Are you waiting for the conditions to be ‘just right’ before you set out? Lucky for you, traveling or volunteering looks great on a resume no matter what field you are in, and if you’re waiting for a certain time, you’re never going to get out there. Maybe you want to wait till you’ve graduated college (refer study abroad above), or you’re waiting till you get that promotion or even retirement! If you keep waiting and putting off traveling, time isn’t going to wait for you and you’ll realize it’s passed you by once those conditions are favorable. Prioritize traveling if it’s really what you desire most in life and you’ll find that you’re only set back were the mental and physical limitations you set by yourself.
Have you overcame anything that kept you from traveling? Have YOU eaten ramen noodles everynight to save money? Share with me your experiences in the comments below!
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