Here's What's Holding You Back From Seeing the World
You’ve probably heard it all before. It’s a big bad world out there, and leaving the comforts of home will only lead to trouble. Traveling, especially long-term, disrupts the natural order of your job, your relationships and your life’s path. It’s a jungle out there! Here what's probably holding you back from travel—and why it shouldn't!
“Look at your bank account! You’ll never save up enough!”
I’m going to let you in on a secret here. If you can afford a latte from Starbucks, you can afford to travel. In other words, if you have the luxury of a little discretionary income, you have the power to decide how to use it. Saving up for a trip is simply a matter of prioritizing your spending. If you’d rather enjoy that latte at a sidewalk café in Spain, set the money aside with that in mind! Understand that collecting funds for your dream trip requires compromise, but if you really want it, it’s worth it. Here are some tips for saving up for travel to get you started.
“You’ll get robbed! Sick! Hurt!”
Believe it or not, most places in the world aren’t any more dangerous than any major city in the U.S. And you should exercise the same common sense while visiting them. Being aware of your surroundings, not flashing your valuables, and avoiding walking alone at night are solid rules for anywhere you might find yourself. Follow them and you're unlikely to come across any trouble. Also, you can’t go wrong with travel insurance to protect yourself (and your wealth!) from the unexpected.
“If you leave your job now, you’ll never find another one!”
The truth is, world travel makes you a more educated, independent, and interesting person. Which in turn, makes you more desirable to prospective employers. You will create contacts from around the globe that you never would have met in your hometown and learn how to be a better communicator and negotiator. Furthermore, your industry probably isn’t going anywhere. Take a hiatus to experience what the world has to offer, and chances are you’ll be able to return to your field afterward. That is, of course, if you still want to!
“You could put that money toward retirement!”
The thing is, money is going to come and go your entire life. You’ll make it, spend it, lose it, and invest it. The thing in your life that’s only going to go? Time. When you're retired and looking back on your life, you’ll wish you spent your brief time on this Earth as preciously as you spent your money. Be responsible in preparing for the future, absolutely. But don’t overlook the importance of enjoying the present while you’re at it.
“You’ll be left out of everything that happens back home!”
Traveling to far-off lands isn’t what it used to be. In the age of the Internet, you’re no longer reliant on expensive phone calls and the occasional tattered postcard to keep in touch. With so many social media platforms and international calling apps, it’s easy to stay updated on what’s going on back home and connected with those you miss most. And no matter how long you’re gone, you’ll be surprised when you return by how little has changed.
“The world isn’t going anywhere. Work now, travel later!”
Not only is traveling physically harder as you age, but logistically it becomes more difficult the older you get. Growing more established in your career, buying a home, and starting a family are all things that won’t make travel impossible, but will certainly make it more complicated than it is when you are young and untethered. Not to mention the fact that you never know where this life may take you. Travel now while you are eager, willing, and able.
“Traveling is a luxury for rich people!”
Believe it or not, it costs significantly less to travel in several countries than it does to survive at home in the U.S. You’d be amazed how many places in the world can be enjoyed to the fullest for next to nothing. Developing countries not only offer rich cultural experiences, but meals and accommodation for pennies on the dollar. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where the currency is comparatively strong, get out there and take advantage of it! Decide how much you are comfortable spending, and there are plenty of destinations out there to suit you. Get some inspiration from this list of the best places to travel if you’re on a budget.
“Wait until someone has the time/money/desire to go with you!”
The most important thing to realize about traveling alone is that you are never actually alone. Visit any popular destination, and you’ll meet hundreds of people just like you who are out to explore and have a good time. Stay in hostels to surround yourself with like-minded travelers, or if that’s not your thing, just visit the hostel bars to make friends for the night. You quickly learn on the road that there are pretty well-trodden trails through each region, which means you tend to run into the same people again and again. And there really is no better setting for making new friends than away from home, outside of your comfort zone!