I’d like to believe that at some point in life everyone dreams of buying a one-way ticket to somewhere extraordinary and just going. Leaving everything behind, you can finally be who you want to be. The idea seems so alluring and carefree. So, you start to consider your first move, and that’s precisely when doubt sets in.
One minute, your inner voice is telling you that the world is waiting for you! Yes, of course. Your destiny must be fulfilled! The next minute, that same voice is telling you how irresponsible the idea is. How do you just pack up and go? You have obligations to tend to! Now is not the right time.
If not now, when is the right time?
Would you believe me if I told you that there is no such thing as the “right time?”
During conversations with my friends, family or even strangers, I often hear the phrase “I’ve always wanted to travel,” as if it is some unattainable goal. And I always hear the same reasons as to why travel is seemingly impossible for them…
Ill miss my friends and family.
You will, especially in the beginning.
But give it a week. Some of the most beautiful friendships of your life will begin during your travels under the most unlikely circumstances. Your days are about to be filled with meaningful (and joyfully idiotic) conversations during bus rides with strangers who will turn into travel companions. These unsuspecting people will quickly become your travel family.
Supplement with Skype, post cards and care packages to talk to people back home. Your long-distance relationship with your friends and family will bond you in ways that can only come from being apart. I’ll even tell you a secret; I like my family way better now that I have time to miss them.
My job is here.
Is this the job that feeds your soul? No? Then what’s the fuss about?
I understand that your boss might be wonderful, and your coworkers are hilarious, but if you’re not on the path you’ve always imagined for yourself…get out before it’s too late! You have countries to visit, languages to learn, skills to acquire! Go find that path. And if/when you decide its time to renter the job market back home; imagine how impressive your new resume is going to be. Travel is only going to develop you into a unique person and lay new opportunities at your feet.
I don’t have enough money.
Being broke on the road only makes you more creative. Almost all travelers, whether they left home with a fortune or not, eventually find their bank accounts getting low and turn towards innovation. Be smart and eat local food. Learn the art of haggling. Work at a hostel or guesthouse that will provide you with a free room. Couchsurfing is an unbelievable experience! There are plenty of ways to make your money stretch.
Or, you could take the road less traveled; plan out a budget before you leave and try sticking to it! There are tons of ‘travel on a shoestring’ guidebooks out there to help.
There’s that guy I just met on Tinder…
Any given hostel at any given moment is Tinder in real time.
Love on a traveler’s path is unavoidable. The guy (or girl) you meet one night in Bangkok will be way more interesting than any hook-up you chase back home. You will drunkenly fall for a handsome Israeli artist one night at a party, and the next week you will meet a Dutch guy who you will travel with for a month. Or, if you’re lucky like me, you will meet a British boy on a 6am bus and end up celebrating your one-year anniversary together.
If you’re waiting for the universe to open up and set you free, you might be waiting your whole life. Someone is always going to be having a baby. Your mom will always want you at Christmas dinner. You will always feel a lingering hesitation because there is no pause button on life.