A better look at the obstacles that might keep you from planning your trip now.
Seven in the morning. The start of a new and unexciting working day. Your manager starts screaming at you and everyone is stressed out. You start counting hours, and dream of exotic places. New cultures, other lifestyles, foods you have never seen and meeting people from all countries. You wish you could leave the Rat Race , pack your bag and see the world. And you can, everything is possible.
But you see obstacles, not having enough money, not knowing what to expect and a lot of uncertainties. So you keep it as something for the future. You can’t quit your job and leave your safety net in times of crisis. What will your family say? You are forced to stay an unhappy member of the Rat Race. Or not?
You don’t have enough money to fund long term travelling.
Living on the road without an income is expensive.You will have to pay for flights, accommodation ,transport, foods, new adventures and social activities with new friends you will meet. And you need something extra for emergencies. All true.
But it might not have to be as expensive as you think. Ask yourself the essentials: what do you need to stay happy? How much luxury can you leave behind? Would you mind sharing accommodation with other people? Are you okay with eating simple street food? Could you try couch surfing? And how would you feel about volunte
List down what makes you happy. Try to estimate the costs and start thinking about a daily budget Try to make a plan: What could you safe money on? Or would you be interested in volunteering, or working on the road? What could you do?
You don’t know what to expect
A feeling of uncertainty creeps up to you when you imagine yourself being in a place far away from home. You will be alone there. Maybe you won’t meet any people or get robbed. Or sick. Your friends and family are all far away and might think you are mad. Or something happens to a loved one when you are far away. What will you do?
What will you do? Deal with it as it comes. Probably the same that you would do at home. You will probably get sick. And it will go away. You will meet people, and if you don’t, you leave. Yes, you can get robbed and that can be a disaster. But there will be help and you will deal with it. There is the internet: Skype, email, to stay in touch with your loved ones. And you can always book a flight home. Or carry on, and things will get better.
Not knowing what to expect is also the charm. Every day is a new surprise. You might be on your way to a new place, meet someone that can change your life, or experience cultural differences that you never knew that existed. You will learn about your own culture, and, very rapidly, about yourself. You will adapt to all new things, and grow.
Try to ask yourself what it is that you are afraid of. Isn’t that also what attracts you? And remember, you won’t be the only one out there, not knowing what to expect and afraid to end up lonely. Most travelers are open minded and approachable and before you know it, you will be telling others about your experiences.
You are afraid to quit your job in times of crisis.
Yes, it is important to pay the bills. You need something extra for emergencies. You don’t know if you will be able to find a job when you come back.
But ask yourself these questions: How happy are you in your job? Do you live for the weekend? And for holidays? Is your job satisfying enough to be stronger than your wish to be free and open for new opportunities? What was the last time you came home stressed over your manager, or other work- related stuff? What do you do with most of the money you earn? How much do you spend on shopping, going out and other ways to make up for the frustrations of working the rest of the week? Could you go without these purchases?
Imagine yourself a year from now, where would you like to be. In another country, or still working at home? If you find yourself dreaming about being in other places, a first step is to go to different places. And with being exposed to other cultures, different people, you might find that your professional wishes change as well. New possibilities will arise!
Negative reactions from your environment
For non- travelers your wishes to go away might be hard to understand. They don’t understand what you are looking for, and might even feel offended. Why would anyone like to leave a good job and a safe net of friends and family? Are you not happy with them?
Ask yourself what is more important: doing what makes you happy, following your dreams, or doing what makes your environment happy, and not step out of the box. Talk to your loved ones, and try to explain why you want to travel and how your dreams affect you. If they can’t understand try to explain it as a difference between you and them. Your wish to travel is something your environment has to learn to accept, and that might take time.
In the end, they just have a hard time seeing you go. But it is about your own happiness. And you can always come back!
Still on the fence? Try to list down what else it is that holds you back. It might be that long term travelling is really not for you. But you might also still be too scared. For those who are still afraid:
Reasons to start planning your trip NOW
If long term travelling is something you have been dreaming about for a long time, but you never had the courage to go, it will never change until you do it! They only way to know is to experience. Or it might end up on your list of regrets later. You might have children, a family , or a dream job. Or you might be dead!
If you want things to change, the ideal moment is now! There will always be obstacles and it will never be the perfect moment, until you make it that way. Don’t wait on things to change, change them yourself!
As long as you don’t have your travels planned yet, you won’t be able to safe as much as when you have a clear goal: You are going to turn your dreams into reality! With that in mind it is a lot easier to say no-, to shopping, expensive drinks and crappy magazines. Saving money is a lot easier when you have a clear goal!
Having a leaving date planned will make you look at things differently. Now everything is just temporary. Had a bad day at work? You will be leaving anyway. Spending time with family and friends becomes more meaningful as you know you won’t see them in a while. Something new and exciting is going to happen. This will give you an enormous energy- boost.
And maybe the most important thing: You will finally be doing it, instead of just dreaming away. You will turn your dreams into reality, instead of just waiting for things to get better. You are courageous and can be proud of yourself! You belong to the people now, who follow their heart instead of their fears. Be happy!