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I’m a firm believer of saying “if you want something, go get it.” No excuses, no drama, no BS. Sure, we all have obstacles trying to block us from reaching our goals. However, usually the greatest barrier stopping the life of our dreams from turning into a reality is … dun, dun, dun: our own insecurities.
Lately I have been feeling “down in the dumps.” I totaled my car, first of all. Second of all, my rent is too high and I need to find a new place to live ASAP. Like a house of cards, everything toppled at the same time, and maaaaaan, do I need positivity.
So, in this post, I wrote some of the most common excuses I hear for choosing not to travel. I also explain exactly these reasons are total and utter garbage. Honestly, guys, I don’t travel, because I’m special or brave. My trips weren’t given to me. I travel because I want to, and more importantly, because I can’t live without the empowerment my travels inspire inside me.
And yeah, I get it. Sometimes it’s difficult to motivate yourself to travel especially if you’ve never taken international trips or feel unsure of your ability to plan everything. A lot of people are flat out scared to travel, which is understandable because the news is scary.
So I’m here to promise you that your wanderlusty dreams are possible to achieve. Just kick the excuses. And bravery is good too!
1. “I’m Scared to Fly.”
Ohhhh man. I understand your reluctance to board a plane. I’m also scared of flying. However, you can’t allow fear to control your life. Ultimately, a fear of flying is very complex and can’t be waved away by quoting a bunch of statistics. No one would be scared to fly if statistics were the cure. Instead, to address your anxiety, you need to narrow down what it is about being on a plane that bothers you so much. What one thing gets under your skin. Turbulence? Terrorism? Decide. Then come up with a plan of attack. If it includes medicine, fine. Therapy, also fine. Do what you need to do.
Honestly, I still haven’t conquered my fear of flying, but at the same time, I realize I have no choice except to board a plane. I want to see the world. I can’t swim, can I?
Now, if you truly cannot board a plane, then research destinations that you can reach using a car, train, or boat. There are plenty of transportation options that will keep you on the ground! Personally, I still want to take a Great American Road Trip! Examine all options.
2. “My Boy/Girlfriend Will Break Up with Me.”
Ditch your unsupportive partner. I’m serious. Anyone who loves you will encourage you to your pursue dreams to the fullest. Anyone who loves you will want to see you happy. Anyone who loves you will never ever ever hold you back. Period. End of story.
Now could it potentially hurt your boyfriend or girlfriend if you want to travel longterm and leave him/her behind for months on end? Of course. Keep in mind, though, long distance is always an option for you. In the travel blogging community, I can think of literally dozens of examples of couples who went long distance and made it work against the odds, so ignore any naysayers. If you and your partner are reasonable people, anything is possible!
But, for real, if your boyfriend or girlfriend belittles your dreams, then drop them like a bad habit. Instead find a gorgeous special someone on your upcoming adventure rather than wasting your time on a person who wants to drag you down. You need that drama like a hole in the head.
3. “Money is Tight.”
Okay, I sympathize completely with this point. Rent, car payments, grocery bills, all add up. It’s even worse residing in an area with a high cost of living. I live in New Jersey, decently close to New York City, and I’m pretty damn sure we have the highest property taxes in the United States. It’s rough. And now that my car is ruined… Yeah, enough said.
I already wrote about ways to save money for travel, but I’ll also throw out a few quick suggestions here. Your wallet will thank you for them.
First of all, if you want to explore the world and not break the bank, create a separate travel account, and then deposit a set amount of money into it after each pay check. Even $20 a week adds up over time. Do. Not. Touch. This. Cash. I understand temptation better than anyone, but please, leave the money alone unless it’s to buy a plane ticket.
In addition to saving money, keep your eyes peeled for deals on airfare and hotels to further reduce costs. The internet will make your life easier.
4. “I Won’t Make Friends.”
A big misconception exists about solo travel, which is you’re a loser with no friends if you travel alone. Furthermore, a lot of people have asked me if “traveling solo” means you’ll be alone for the majority of the time. I also get asked whether or not I experience loneliness on the road. Honestly, loneliness can happen, but it’s actually super hard to stay alone for an entire trip. You always seem to strike a conversation with someone at times when you least expect it.
You can make friends in hostels, for sure. Staying in hostels, especially those with high “social ratings,” is one of the easiest ways to make connections with other travelers. However, if you feel too old for hostels, other ways to meet travelers and locals exist. For example, if you book yourself on a walking tour, you can create an instant circle of new pals.
Always remember to smile even if your new surroundings overwhelm and scare you. A smile creates many beautiful friendships.
5. “My Parents Don’t Want Me to Go.”
At a certain age, you should do whatever you want whether or not your parents agree, but I understand it’s easier said than done. I’m thirty, and I still can’t stand the idea of disappointing my parents! Yet, at the end of the day, you need to do what makes you feel most fulfilled in life. You only get one chance in this world. Do you. Otherwise resentment, which is the killer of all relationships, builds and boils over.
Honestly, your parents are probably just worried about you, which is understandable! It’s their job to worry!
To quell their fears, share all of your research and ideas with them. Keep them an active part of the process. I always leave an itinerary with my parents.
While you’re on your adventure, make sure to shoot a quick text home every day to keep your family in the loop. It literally takes five seconds.
6. “I Don’t Know Where to Begin.”
Ohh, I have a lot of trouble here too! I have a strong desire to go to so many places that it’s hard for me to narrow down where exactly I want to stay.
Think long and hard about what you want to accomplish on your trip. Are you an adventure traveler who wants the rush of bungee jumping or sky diving? Are you a foodie who wants to sample the very best cheeses in a specific region? Are you an artist who can spend hours in museums, studying paintings and sculptures? You want to take you personal interests into consideration. Then construct an itinerary.
Don’t let your travel motivation die over indecision. And, hey, you can always take more than one journey. Just sayin’.
7. “I’m Scared I’ll Get Sick.”
No one wants to get sick. Getting sick is even more unpleasant in an unfamiliar place where you’re alone. I get it. However, like I’ve already said, fear cannot be allowed to control your life. Instead focus on simple precautions you can take to avoid sickness on your travels.
- Always have travel insurance.
- Wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
- Only eat fully cooked and hot food at reputable places.
- Drink bottled water if the source is unreliable.
- Get any vaccines or prescriptions that your doctor or CDC recommends.
Do everything you do at home to prevent illness. I have been very lucky on my travels thus far. I’ve only ever suffered with colds.
Treat your body well and you’ll probably be just fine.
8. “I Don’t Think I Can Do It.”
Ahh, if this thought has ever ran through your mind, then you need a gigantic dose of travel motivation. You know … sometimes I don’t feel brave enough to travel either. However, even if you’re anxious, it’s still very possible to travel abroad and experience new places and people on your own terms. I don’t see my anxiety as an excuse to stay home and gather dust. Nope. Ain’t happening.
Ultimately, I believe you can do anything you put your mind to. You are more capable, confident, powerful, and beautiful than you can ever imagine. Give yourself credit and take your strength back. Think it’s impossible? It’s not. Before my first ever solo trip to Scotland, my self-esteem was completely shattered due to having no job prospects. I still went. And I thrived.
Smile, my friend. You totally can do this.
9. “Is Traveling Alone Safe?”
Okay, you want a longer answer, haha.
Over all, traveling alone is no less safe than going to the grocery store alone or walking in your local park alone. You do a lot of things alone in your daily life. Travel isn’t too different, especially if you’ve already done your research.
It’s understandable to feel concerned about safety. The best advice I can offer is to research as much as you can about your destination(s). Familiarize yourself with unsafe neighborhoods and tourist scams. Know the location of your country’s embassy. Take extra caution at night.
Travel is safe. Breathe.
Did this post give you a must needed dose of travel motivation? Have you ever psyched yourself out of a great trip? Leave all your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!