When I ask friends, family members and even fellow travelers when they’re going to take that trip they’ve always dreamed of, I get a varied spate of responses. For many, it’s “When I get the money.” Some others say “I’m too busy at work to travel” or “I want to see if Mr./Ms. Right Now becomes Mr./Mrs. Right.” The vaguest among them always respond with a simple “Someday.”
Now, I’m not under any illusions. I realize that the vast majority of us can’t hop on a plane tomorrow, as much as we’d really like to. By vowing to travel at the nearest possible point in the future, however, you dramatically increase the chances of your dream trip becoming a variety. Still aren’t ready to set your departure date? This list will motivate you to stop procrastinating and hit the road.
1. Life is short
2. The world is huge
I’ve managed to rack up 36 countries in my seven years of travel, yet I’ve still seen only a fraction of the world’s surface area. The sooner you start traveling, the better your chances of visiting everywhere you want to see in your short life.
3. The only time is “right now”
I don’t mean to get all yoga instructor on you, but I’ve come to love this particular piece of wisdom a lot. To say it another way, if it’s always “right now,” then doesn’t “I’ll travel later” mean you’re planning to travel at a time that doesn’t exist? Ooooooom.
4. You will never have enough money
If your decision not to travel right now is financially-based, what exactly is your end financial goal? As I detail in my article about how to travel middle class, making travel happen is about re-arranging your priorities, not striking it rich.
5. Your friends and family will be there for you when you return
A lot of people I meet tell me they’re afraid to travel because they feel like they’re leaving their loved one behind. Even if you move overseas for a year to teach English, your friends and family are going to be right where you left them. Unless they, too, grew balls and decided to hit the road.
6. The idea is fresh in your mind
The old saying “strike while the iron is hot” applies to travel as well as it does any situation in your life. Dreaming of a slow trip up the Nile River or an encounter with pandas in China? Being excited and enthused about an upcoming trip energizes you as you re-arrange your life to accomodate your upcoming travel.
7. Retirement is a long way away
Even if you were able to enjoy the same cushy retirement as your parents and grandparents, do you really want to think about how many times the elderly you would need to get up an use the toilet on an overnight train in India? Take it from someone who’s seen incontinence in motion: It’s best to travel while your body still works.
8. The world is (kind of) at peace
As a world traveler, I am not under any illusions that the world is actually at peace. Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, Libya — the list goes on. Thing is, there isn’t currently an international crisis that is preventing the movement of people across most borders. There could be later this year, however, if Israel and the U.S. get their way.
9. Travel is contagious
One of the greatest joys in my life is reading comments here on Leave Your Daily, responses to my posts on Facebook and Twitter and direct email messages telling me that my stories have inspired others to travel. Yours will do the same — pay it forward!
10. Leave Your Daily Hell is here to help!
Leave Your Daily Hell is filled with comprehensive destination guides and practical travel advice, no matter where you want to go. Or maybe you just want to look at some pretty picture for inspiration?