MAKE YOUR TRAVEL DREAMS COME TRUE
Are you longing to visit some far off exotic place, want to experience the food of a foreign country, or interested in soaking up another culture, but you can’t seem to make your travel dreams a reality? Below are five steps on how to turn your wanderlust into actual wandering, and make travel a part of your life.
Not everyone wants to travel like me, but most people would like to have a little escape every once in a while. These tips work for both weekends away and long term travel. This is exactly the method I used when I began traveling years ago, and revisited again on my recent long term travels.
1. STOP PUTTING IT OFF. If creating travel memories and experiences is important to you then quit waiting for the “right time” to take a trip. No one knows what the future holds, and there will never be a better time than now. Mentally decide that this year will be the year that you take that long awaited trip.
2. MAKE TRAVEL A PRIORITY. Don’t view travel as a luxury or splurge. See it as the life enriching, character building, infinitely rewarding experience that it can be. The joy I gain from traveling far outweighs any sacrifices I may have to make to get there. If travel holds a prominent place in your life you will work hard to make it happen. I have never once regretted spending my money and time on traveling, and I'm pretty sure you won't either.
3. STOP MAKING EXCUSES. If you truly want to travel there is nothing that will hold you back. Not work, not kids, not finances. Maybe health, if you are very sick then it may be hard (but not always impossible) to do. Which again validates step number 1. Making excuses just gets in your way of progress towards any goal.
4. FIGURE OUT YOUR OBSTACLES and make a plan to overcome them. A few years ago, I managed to take three trips (two out of the country) with only five vacation days off from work. I’ve met traveling families and parents who leave their kids at home. If other people find a way to make it happen, you can too. Is it fear keeping you at home? I find knowledge to be the easiest way to overcome fear. I identify what I’m worried about, and then research the hell of it until my fears subside or I feel comfortable that I can overcome it.
Money is the greatest impediment to traveling, but it doesn’t have to be. Monitor your spending for one month and see where your money actually goes. Cut out anything that isn’t absolutely necessity. Things like spa days, expensive dinners, nights out drinking, and shopping will kill your budget. I view every purchase as possible travel money. Fifty bucks can buy new shoes or a few days in Thailand. I will always pick the latter.
Maybe your budget is already tight, and you can’t cut anything else out. You may need to supplement your income. I worked two jobs for a year, sold a lot of my existing stuff on ebay, and saved every penny to travel last year. I would do it all over again if I had too. If cost is an issue then maybe your destination can be changed to something more affordable. There are places in the world that cost infinitely less than others. Seek out cheap destinations, and find ways to cut expenses while you travel. Look into gaining airline miles or hotel points through strategic use of credit cards and reward programs. I rarely pay for flights and every now and then I fly first class just by using miles. Google travel hacking and prepare to have your mind blown.
5. GIVE YOURSELF AN END DATE. To stay motivated while overcoming your travel obstacles and planning your trip you need to have an end date in mind. Figure out a realistic time frame and mark it on your calendar, give yourself a tangible goal to look forward to and it will be easier to reach. Make a plan and do research to keep the excitement alive. Planning your trip is often half the fun of traveling. Keep in mind why you are making all of these sacrifices and get excited about your upcoming trip.
Does this sound like a lot of work? It is, but soooo worth it! If it was easy everyone would do it. Just remember how rewarding it will be when you see your travel dreams start to take shape. Here is a list of resources that I use regularly to help to reach my travel goals. Need further assistance? Message me and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.