I receive a lot of messages from people who would love to go traveling but who have doubts and fears which keep them from doing so. But in reality most of these doubts are actually excuses in disguise. Some of these might sound familiar to you, “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the money” or “I have no one to go with”. While these arguments sound legitimate at first sight, they absolutely should not keep you from doing what you want to do. If you think about it, all of these can be easily overcome if you really want it. Here is how:
1| I can’t afford it!
I hear this lot from people and whereas prices and affordability are relative, I think that you can do it. It might not be easy, it might not come over night and it might also involve some sacrifices but I am sure you can do it if you really want it.
“The adrenalin and stress of adventure are better than a thousand peaceful days.”
I saved up a long time for my recent trip across Southeast Asia and I can say that I changed my entire lifestyle to accumulate the needed travel budget. I stopped going out on the weekends, I hardly ever bought new clothes and whenever I made a purchase, I asked myself twice if it would be really necessary. That routine also helped me a lot to control my expenses when I was on the road. It all comes down to sacrifice. I you want something badly, you will have to change a few things to make it happen. That being said, even small things can have a big effect. Imagine saving 100$ each month for an entire year. If you score a cheap flight, this money would buy you a return flight to Bangkok and last for a month of adventure in Southeast Asia. And even with less, you will be able to go – you just need to get into a regular savings routine.
2| I have no one to go with!
If you decide to go traveling, chances are high that you won’t find someone who has the same interests as you, has the budget and also the time to come along with you. Too bad, but there is no rule that says you have to travel with someone else. I have written a comprehensive article about traveling solo which might help you to take that leap of faith. Go out there, embrace adventure and go exploring on your own. It will be a liberating and empowering experience. And remember, you might leave your house alone, but on the road you are never really alone. You will meet other people along the way, travelers and locals alike, which is one of the essences of traveling. And if you really can’t get your head around traveling solo, then think about joining a tour specifically designed for people in the same situation.
3| It will affect my career and I won’t find a job again!
Of course this is in part is dependent on your level of experience, but times have definitely changed. Taking some time off is not that exotic anymore and not regarded unfavorable as it might have some years ago. To the contrary, you can actually benefit from it if you choose the right approach. In the end, you are hired not only for your skills but for who you are. Traveling has the potential to make you a better and more well-rounded person. In our globalized world, this is becoming more and more important. Upon your return, be smart about weaving your travel experience into your CV. You gained a lot of new experiences, just think about it. Maybe you even wrote a blog, improved your photography, your writing or your social media skills. Advertise these newly acquired skills to your advantage. There still might be an employer who doesn’t like what you did, but then ask yourself: Would you really want to work for them or rather for someone who honestly appreciates you for who you are?
4| It’s not safe. I might get robbed or scammed!
We all tend to get our opinions of the world and specific places from the media. But have you realized that the media is always focusing on the negatives? It is what best draws their audience’s attention, what brings more clicks and earns the most money. But it has the side effect that a lot us, especially nowadays, regard the world as a hostile and dangerous place, where tourists get kidnapped or robbed and terrorism is a constant threat. But during all of my travels I have found the world a wonderful place with utterly wonderful people in it. Traveling actually puts all of this back into perspective. The world is not a scary place at all as long as you keep and make use of your common sense. It would be a shame to miss out on all the beauty that’s out there just because of fear.
5| I might get lost!
Setting foot on unknown soil can be a scary thing. Getting lost throws us out of our comfort zones immediately. It challenges ourselves, forces us to deal with new situations and it makes us learn more about ourselves. Getting lost can for sure be intimidating, but when traveling, it can also be an unique opportunity and a blessing in disguise.
“I like the sense of being totally cut off from the predictable world of my everyday life, immersed in the strangeness of the new.”
It gives you the chance to explore a place in a different way, maybe allowing you to discover a hidden gem, and it gives you the chance to hone new and forgotten skills. It can be a source for growth and strength and we should happily welcome it. And if you still feel a bit edgy about it, read my article about getting lost and why it isn’t so bad after all.
Last thoughts …
I am not one of those people who can say that they don’t regret anything they did in their lives. I would change a few things if I could but the only things that I am 100 percent sure about and that have always been right, were my travels. No doubt about it.
Whatever worries you might have, don’t let them keep you from doing what you really want. If you are thinking about going traveling, then stop thinking and do it. The freedom it will give you is indescribable and it will open your eyes, heart and soul. It is honestly one of the best experiences you will ever have. But beware, it might become an addiction.