Finding time to travel

Whenever I talk to people about travelling, most of them usually say they can’t travel because they don’t have time or they don’t have money. Especially time is likely to be our most valuable resource. It’s a portion of our life we’re giving, so we should spend it wisely. That’s my exact point when I try to encourage people to travel: we’re running out of time!

Many people are so busy working, earning money, collecting material goods and making a living, that they fail to appreciate time spent on non-material things. Things like a lovely sunset, stargazing at night and spending time with loved ones have escaped many minds. Travelling is even a step ahead. Going to another environment, to see what a tiny place you occupy in this world. An unknown place where you can explore the world and get to connect with yourself in a way you’ve never done before. For many people it’s a very rare experience.

Cover the earth before it covers you

There’s so much to see, feel & connect with in this world and our time is limited. Do you really want your precious life time to run out while spending almost your entire life working, earning money and paying bills? Let’s be honest: one day you’re going to die. No one has promised you there will be a tomorrow. Maybe you won’t even make it till tonight. So if it’s certain that our time is limited and we have no guarantee tomorrow will come, how could we use time as an excuse not to travel? I’m sure travelling is a much better time investment than a full day of working, isn’t it? 🙂

There’s always a way if you really want it

The thing is: if you really want something, you’ll find a way. It isn’t easy, but with hard work and determination, time and money will manifest themselves. If you have a job or a family to reckon with, look at the holiday calendar. Mark at least one weekend each month to make a short trip to an unexplored destination close to home. If not a weekend, at least one day to make a short trip. And if you’re in for more; spend one week (or at least a mid-week) every 3 months in another place. Go solo, with a friend, your partner or even take your family along! Just get yourself out of the day to day life once in a while.

Imagine the doctor says you’ve got only 3 months to live. Would you still continue living the way you are right now?

Make time to travel. Pursue your passions. Live your dreams. Because in the end we only regret the things we didn’t do.

Regret sucks, so take the step now.

Short-term travels or long-term travels?

Travelling means investing in yourself. You’re giving a portion of your time and money and you’re rewarded with the wealth of a broader mind, lots of energy, a rich experience, improved body, mind & spirit and a lot of personal happiness. The amount of days doesn’t matter; the quality of your experience does.

In my last article I asked you something:

Imagine the doctor says you’ve got only 3 months to live. Would you still continue living the way you are right now?

How happy are you with your life?

If you’re happy with your daily life and job, congratulations: you’re already an inspirational human! But if there’s anything you’d like to change in your day to day life, then it’s time to try something new. Try to discover what makes you happy and if you don’t know or are not sure yet, then the open world is the best place to discover what you truly want in life. While short-term travelling (maximum 3 weeks) is mostly an escape from day to day life, long-term travelling (at least 1 month; some travel even for 6 months, a year or a few years) often gives you the biggest life experience one can ever gain.

Benefits of long-term travelling

Long-term travelling helps you to discover, adapt and gain a better understanding of yourself, your goals in life and things that really make you happy. Leaving your everyday worries behind for a long period gives a lot of mind space and time to focus on things that are more important. During travels you meet new people in unfamiliar places, who are likely to be like-minded and inspire you with their life choices. You get to know more about different cultures and learn more about how other people live. Those meetings, flavours, smells, colours and experiences will remain with you forever. Travel memories are things no money can buy!

What about your career?

Many people think their career will end if they start long-term travelling. A gap in your resumé is often considered something bad. But is that really true? I feel nowadays recruiters are more likely to look at the person rather than their education, grades and work experience. The competition at the job market is killing nowadays; there are so many people who are trying for the same job and have the same education, qualities, work experience etc. However, when you’ve done something offbeat and amazing in life, you’re more likely to stand out in job interviews. You’ll have stories and life experiences to share very less persons can even think about.

In my experience travelling only adds more value to your personal brand story and your resumé.

Once in life, take the leap: travel long-term!

I would recommend to travel long-term at least once in life. Challenge yourself, gain confidence, become stronger, value experience, live in the here & now and most of all: be happy!

Follow your heart and never give up on things that make you smile 🙂

Dealing with family and friends

Many people are afraid to travel long-term because of family and friends. Often they are afraid of missing or letting down their family and friends, or both!

It’s very natural to miss your family and friends when you’re away from them for a long time. Our family and friends are our loved ones and the idea of being far away from them for a long time is quite intimidating. “What’s going to happen when I’m gone? What if I miss out on important events? What if they forget about me? What if they’ll be disappointed in me? What if something happens and I can’t be reached? …..

I had the same fears when I went to India for 3 months, in 2018. I didn’t show anyone, but I was quite nervous. Then I convinced myself that, if something would happen back home and I needed to be there, I’d be able to reach within a few days. My family is there, my friends are there and because of the internet we can be close even while being far. So what was I worrying about?

Then when I came back, nothing changed back home. My family and friends were still the same, nothing significant had changed in the country I lived in and all the fears appeared to exist in my head only. So never limit your travel aspirations and dreams because of these kind of reasons. There are plenty wonderful people out there in this world. So many amazing experiences are waiting for you out there somewhere; you’ll be absolutely fine, and so will your family & friends!

It’s not that your family and friends aren’t important. No, they are and will remain your dear ones and you’ll be there whenever you need to! It’s just that you also have the right to follow your heart and make your dreams come true. In the beginning they may appear to be against your aspirations. You know your family and friends are always going to think what’s best for you, but that’s according to them. They don’t dream your dreams. They don’t feel your feelings. They can’t always understand your desires.

Not everyone will agree with your plans and decisions. Many of them will likely talk about risks and all kinds of “what if” scenarios. Actually they will be projecting their own fears onto you. But at the end of the day, when they see your pictures and hear your stories about your amazing and happy experiences, deep inside they will be happy for you. You’re their loved one; when you’re happy, they’ll be happy as well. Besides, it’s your life, so follow your heart and live life at your own terms.

Why you should travel solo

Solo travel means independent travel! No closed-ended trips, no guides, no compromising… you’re free to go wherever and whenever you want! Solo travel is the greatest way of travel, especially when you want to be independent.

Your journey is flexible, costs are low, it’s easier to find a place to stay, it’s lightweight in stuff (just you and your backpack), it’s ultimate freedom and you’ll meet lots more people than when you’re travelling with other people. When you travel solo it’s easier to connect with other people; often it feels like speed-dating but with friends. You will meet so many different people every day and it’s totally your choice whether you’d like to hang out with someone and if so, how long, when and where.

I also feel travelling solo is very good for your personal growth. It’s the ultimate test of how resourceful you are and how easy it is for you to adapt new cultures and environments. Everything that happens during your travels will force you to make decisions (and it will be all by yourself) & setting bounderies (and move them as well) and every time you do, you’ll establish a new, better, stronger version of yourself. Solo travel is the ultimate way of independent travel, with the greatest opportunities of meeting people, having wonderful and rare experiences.

Especially if you’re from a well-established country or area it’s likely that the media will tell lots of dark side stories about the places you’ll visit. As if India’s the country of rape & castes, Pakistan is the country of terrorists, Afghanistan is a war area, Middle East countries are women unfriendly and Africa is very poor and unhygienic. Of course there’s some truth in it and these kinds of things happen; we should be aware. But let’s not exaggerate things. The worst things that often happen to travellers is being robbed or ripped off by sales persons or beggars. It’s not that it’s likely to get kidnapped by terrorists or attacked by wild animals or something like that.

However travelling to foreign countries sounds scary, it’s best to just let go of expectations and embrace whatever you get, even if they are fears. Like all new things, things will be tough and uneasy in the beginning. But once you get the habit, you’ll want nothing else. Trust me, you’ll enjoy the journey.

It’s not always easy

Many bloggers will tell you travelling is the best experience one could ever have. Yes, it’s the best, but you should also know it’s not always pleasant or easy. Not like the perfect experiences many bloggers tell you about. From my own experience I can tell you that: sometimes travelling really sucks!

You’ll face many problems, maybe even more when you’re a woman. You’ll be different to many people, so it’s likely you’ll be stared at lots of times, people will try to impress you just to have sex with you, agressive salesmen won’t leave you at many times… banking problems, overbooked stays, dirty bathrooms, getting sick, not able to sleep (for example because of snoring dorm mates), getting robbed, loosing stuff, shitty food… of course, you’ll be missing trains & buses as well… The list of shitty things to happen could go on and on. You understand what I mean, right? Travelling isn’t all La La Land!!

I’m not saying travelling is dangerous or you shouldn’t travel. I’m just trying to sketch a realistic image of travelling. You should know these kind of things and mentally prepare for these as well. That way things won’t be as shitty as they would be if you weren’t prepared. No, it won’t be easy all the time. Yes, there will be challenges, but that’s also part of the journey. The question is how you deal with it. Situations aren’t bad, as long as you embrace them and make the best out of them!

It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it!