We often hear about travellers who woke up one day, quit their job, packed their bags and jumped on a plane. If only it were always that simple, right? If you’re at a stage in your life where you can do this, then a) I’m super jealous! And b) what are you reading this for? You best get packing!
But if like so many of us you have ties at home that aren’t going to be quite so quick to sever, this isn’t always an option. It seems silly to say that making the decision to travel isn’t easy. Surely you either go, or you don’t? But seeing the world is an experience many people dream of, yet so often don’t chase because ‘life gets in the way’.
Believe me, we get it. We plan to hit the road as soon as we can. But there are circumstances that are currently delaying our departure. There are a number of challenges you may face when making the decision to travel, here’s why (and how) you should overcome them!
One of the key things we think about when it comes to travel is can I afford it and how will I fund it? That’s why nowadays there is so much literature out there about budget travel and how to live for less when you’re abroad.
It’s an unfortunate reality that money is such a driving force behind our decisions. But sometimes that’s just the way. The reality is, if you’re savvy enough you can go away with very little in your bank and survive on not a lot of money while you’re away. But this can take some practise. In fact, a great travel blogger actually said the best time to travel is when you’re broke.
So though money is usually the first thought, it should definitely not be a reason not to travel. There are ways to get around it if you want it enough.
We spent three months driving around Europe, and managed to do it all for about £3,000. That includes all food, activities, toll roads, campsites and the occasional hotel. Oh and new winter clothes (because rocking up in snowy Switzerland mid-winter in shorts and sandals is just not cool!). And that might still seem like a lot, but looking back we could have done it for a lot less had we been more strict on ourselves, but hey, you learn from these experiences!
And what happens to your career when you go travelling? You may be in an industry where you are able to move around or work remotely. You might even run your own business that you can continue from wherever you are – this is a common approach for those running online business these days.
But if your job isn’t something you can take with you, it’s time to think about what you want from your career. The reality is, if you’re not going for long, then you can jump straight back in and pick up where you left off. If you’re planning on a longer stint abroad you could pick up work along the way (where you can) or try to pick up new skills on route.
In actual fact, travel can look great on a CV if you can show what you learnt from your time away. For example, I hope to learn a new language (hopefully Spanish) as we travel and also get to know so much more about other cultures and walks of life. I also hope to write while I’m away and build a portfolio of my work (as well as blogging of course!).
It can be hard to say goodbye to your family and friends, dependent of course of the amount of time you plan to go for. This can sometimes cause us to feel guilty or selfish. But truth is, if your they’re are supportive of you and what you want, they’ll be excited for you. And best of all they can always catch a flight out to meet you somewhere!
This is a big one, particularly for me. The first time we decided to travel I remember telling my friends and family what we had planned. Immediately after I began to panic. What if we don’t end up going? What if the trip turns out to be a disaster? Everyone is going to think we failed.
This is something we as people tend to worry about far too much in general. Don’t think about what could go wrong, and instead think about what could go right. Even if your trip ends up shorter than planned, or you run out of money – at least you did it! And you can always go again another time.
Remember: If ‘Plan A’ didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.(cheesy I know, but true!).
It can be nerve wracking leaving your home, friends, family, job or whatever it is you may be leaving behind. Especially if you choose to go for a long period of time. If you have a travel buddy, confide in them, talk to them about your anxieties, it’s likely that they feel the same way. If you’re worried about travelling alone there are so many forums and communities you can join that offer advice and you can even meet people to travel with there.
We often feel nervous or worry about things and the reality of the situation is never as bad as we feared. In fact, often there are no problems at all. One of my biggest fears when we went on our European road trip was wild camping. We read so many horror stories online about sleeping in rest stops. OK, so we did avoid the rest stops, but we weren’t bothered once when we were sleeping in car parks or by the beach. In fact we actually met a lot of people doing the same thing which was comforting.
Perhaps not an immediate thought, but an important one is what to do with your stuff. Especially if you own your own house. One great thing about leaving your house behind is that you can always rent it out while you’re away for extra travel money. And as for your stuff, get rid of the unnecessary and store the rest. If you haven’t got a friend or family member who’s able to adopt your belongings for a while, then you can hire a storage space instead.
It may feel like there are so many reasons why travel is impractical. But the truth is, there are more reasons why you should travel, than why you shouldn’t. Don’t let these things hold you back – there is a solution for any problem. So get the ball rolling and check out our guide to getting started!