A journey of 1,000 miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu
There are many out there who dream about taking an around the world trip, backpacking Europe or traveling solo through South America. Who fantasize about spending a summer WWOOFing on a vineyard in Argentina, hiking their way through southern India or cycling across America. They ponder teaching English in Thailand, road tripping through Australia and falling in love in French Polynesia.
Being an armchair traveler might be fun for the moments you’re living in your mind; however, when you realize the dream isn’t reality, it can be depressing. The thing is, it’s so simple to make your journey a reality. You just need to take that first step and go travel.
Typically people don’t travel because they make excuses. They don’t have the money, work is too busy, their significant other would break up with them, they don’t know the language, they’re nervous they’ll get robbed. The thing is, typically these excuses are just that, excuses. You’ll never have as much money as you think you need; your job will always be throwing projects your way; your significant other should either go along or understand; you don’t need to know the language to get by in a foreign place; and as long as you use common sense you probably won’t get robbed.
This may seem easier said than done, but it’s not. With five years worth of loans to pay — including extra for getting a Master’s Degree and studying abroad — I graduated college and set off to spend an entire summer in Europe. I once had a boyfriend who said that if I backpacked South America for three months he would break up with me. Funny enough, I found out he was cheating on me right before I left, which made me thankful I didn’t give in to his demands. I’ve had jobs that demanded so much from me they sucked the fun right out of my life, so I quit them and started a travel blog.
Think about your life right now. It may seem that going on an extended trip or having a life-changing solo travel experience is taking a risk; however, wouldn’t NOT giving yourself the opportunity to have life-changing, mind-opening, knowledge-gaining experiences be more of a risk? Not to sound morbid, but when you’re on your deathbed do you want to remember “Wow, I’m so glad I paid my credit card in full every month!” or “I’m so glad I spent a summer living with a family in Cambodia and learning from their culture”?
Still scared? Learn to travel on a budget, stay safe on the road and make smart travel resolutions, and you’ll be much better equipped to take on the challenge. What are you waiting for? As Lao Tzu said, “A journey of 1,000 miles must begin with a single step.”
What travel journey do you dream of taking?