Deciding to travel around the world for an extensive period is an up hill battle. For most it is a fight that is given up on before even starting. This is a shame, as we all know it can be won. Even with all the excuses available we know long term travel is achievable. We have seen it done. We all have friends that have packed up their lives and chose a life of long term travel. They have taken a GAP year, a walkabout, became a vagabond or a globetrotter. No matter the term used, they are the ones living and you are the one stuck hearing about it. You know what I mean by this. They are the jerks that post annoying Facebook updates like “Having a great time in Kyoto!” or “Just witnessed the most beautiful sunset from my tent on Cape Leveque. Loving life!” Barf. They are also the assholes that post pictures of themselves riding camels in the Sahara or feeding a baby white tiger in Bali. Give me a break right? Our natural reaction might be annoyance but not so deep down, don’t you secretly wish you were that asshole? Don’t you want to feed baby white tigers in Bali?
“Well yes, but I couldn’t leave my job. I’m far too important.”
You can and no, you’re not.
“Well, I don’t make enough money to travel like that.”
You do. It’s cheaper than you think.
“What about my overweight, diabetic cat? I can’t leave her”
There are options. There are always options.
Stop the Excuses
You see excuses are just that. They are mental roadblocks put in place to make us feel like it is OK not to change or take a risk. They are crutches we often use that slow us from growing. It is easy to find justification not to do something. It takes little to no effort not to change, but in the end where does that get you? How about the same job, relationship, and overall outlook on life? If any of those things have gotten you down know that your excuses won’t bring you back up. They will hinder and they will prolong.
Your asshole friends struggled through all the same excuses and you can too.
Avoid The Questions
What about the “What if’s?” Well they are just excuses disguised as questions that can put off something wonderful. I am not saying that there aren’t valid questions and concerns about a giant step in your life like long term travel. Obviously there are. I am saying that they shouldn’t hold you back. It’s important to get in the right headspace. The sooner you accept this mindset, the sooner you can move this journey of long term travel forward. In life attitude is everything. You can choose to make excuses and take a pessimistic approach to life’s challenges or you can take them on with a positive approach and use your energy to expand instead of restrict.
Still not convinced?
You’re not alone. Sadly it is a few common questions that keep most people from achieving that dream of long term travel. It is a few common questions that keep cropping up that hold us back. It is these questions that are better left alone. So let’s move on, let’s put them to rest. Right here and right now. Let’s do this so you can start something wonderful. Stop wasting your energy on them and start planning your long term travel trip.
With that in mind, here is a list of questions you need to avoid asking yourself when thinking about long term travel:
What if I lose my job?
First ask yourself if you are actually happy with your job or just comfortable. Is it leading somewhere or is it a dead-end? Answering those questions truthfully can make this decision easier. If you are lucky enough to be in a workplace you truly love and enjoy then focus on making yourself as valuable as possible. Chances are your company is not as opposed to the idea of extended leave as you think. Talk open and explain the alternative if they wont grant you the leave. There is a stigma that employers frown upon resumes with gaps or indication that you jump jobs. To a point this is true however friends, family, and future employers will be impressed with your big decision of long term travel. It shows you are courageous. It shows that you are a risk taker. It shows that you have grown. Use your time away to grow. The rest will fall into place.
What if my girlfriend/boyfriend/partner doesn’t want to go/want me to go?
Chances are you are not on the same page. If they can’t grasp why you want to try long term travel or accept it then you may want to reevaluate your relationship. Are you truly happy? Do you realistically see a future together? This can be hard but you need to be true to yourself. Once you figure that out you need to move on, with or without this person.
If you are afraid of traveling alone, don’t be. Traveling by yourself will force you to open up. In doing so you will make new friends and experience new things. If you are looking for a travel companion there are plenty of ways to find travel buddy including Facebook groups, travel apps, and social media meet ups.
What if I run out of money?
Chances are you have options. First and foremost, plan for long-term travel accordingly and set aside for the unexpected. This means for any issues that may arise while away on the road or back at home. Have a spare bankcard with you but not on you in case one is lost/stolen. Have a credit card set aside for emergency use only. Pending on your situation you can work for room and board at a hostel or find odd jobs that can help get you back on track. Certain situations may arise that force you to cut your trip short. Life happens. Don’t let this hold you back. It is important to accept this and move on.
*Looking for more ways to fund your trip? Check out my post on 7 tips to finance world travel*
What if I get lost?
Chances are you will…a lot. Chalk it up to an experience. This is all part of the adventure. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions, people are helpful by nature. To minimize time spent wandering unfamiliar cities try and use landmarks such as buildings, mountains, and bodies of water to get your bearings when arriving in a new place. It is important to know the areas that should be avoided at night or if you are alone. Don’t let this deter you. Educate yourself and be safe.
What if I lose or damage my passport?
This is a common question and is more of a nuisance then a deal breaker. If this happens to you then visit your countries nearest consulate. They are there to help in a situation such as this. Having a scanned copy or duplicate of your photo page can be helpful to.
What if I get mugged?
It happens. I won’t sugar coat it. Even if you are careful and cautious, it still happens. Be smart and be safe. Minimize your risk. Carry little cash and valuables on you and be aware of your surroundings. This is tough to get across but do these things without being over cautious. 99% of people on this planet are human. Don’t let the 1% deter you.
What if I get homesick?
You will. Not all days will be great. At times you will miss your family, your friends, and your home. Thankfully we live in a world where they are all just a video call away. Staying in touch has never been easier. Set aside time to do just that. You may miss the comforts of your hometown. Maybe it will be your cozy bed, or your favorite coffee shop. Take time on your trip to treat yourself and know that not all nights need to be spent in a shared in a dorm room. Stay in a hotel if you can afford it and take time to enjoy the finer things in life. Also, staying positive and reminding yourself of the mundane or the reasons why you left will help. Don’t let this hold you back from long term travel.
How about this “what if”…
What if I don’t go? Instead of worrying about all the things mentioned above, focus your energy on answering this question. What then? Think about what you could be missing out on and the excuses that you are using. Know this, “the what if’s” certainly don’t outweigh the experiences that this world has in store for you. Move past them.
Stop living your life thinking about what could have been. Evade the evasions. Avoid the common questions. Move on and enjoy the world through long term travel.
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