I love to travel, if you didn’t already know. From the people who do already know this, I usually get a lot of questions about my favourite city, worst hostel story, or near death experiences, the latter to which has many answers which will one day make for a great story-time post.
But the NUMBER ONE QUESTION OF ALL TIME IS: “Adriana, HOW DO YOU TRAVEL?”
To which I’d say: “Buy a ticket, pack your bags, walk around some place half way across the world…” This response is met with eye rolls by people who are not fond of my sarcasm.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH. It’s a good question that clearly people need an answer to. When I started traveling I had no idea what I was doing. Honestly, I still don’t have much of an idea so who am I to say what’s the best way (please keep reading though).
What I do know is that I’ve done it and you haven’t, unless of course you have and you’re just reading this for my obnoxious writing style, I appreciate that, too. I say this not to be condescending because I have much to learn myself but, to let you know that in the next couple of minutes it takes you to read this post I going to make damn sure I impart to you what knowledge I have and you will be inspired.
1. You’re going to have to jump.
Although it would bring me great joy if you started jumping after reading that sub title, no physical jumping is required. Let’s take a minute to get meta. What is holding you back? What are you afraid of? I am here to answer your travel questions but, these are questions you need to answer for and to yourself in order to get anywhere in life. Deep, I know. But for some reason when it comes to traveling, people always make up a gazillion reasons not to.
Okay, do you have your answers? Write them down. Tear them up. Voilà. They cease to exist.
Does this actually work? Nah.
Why? Because you have to jump.
Whatever is personally holding you back is just a thought in your mind that doesn’t exist in this tangible world. To which you will try to say words at me like “my money, my job, my boyfriend” and I will be hearing “blah, blah, blah”.
Hopefully by this point you’re mad at yourself for being one of those “blah blah blah” people and are ready to jump. Yay! Go you! Okay, so this is how you jump: you need to decide right here and now that you are going to travel no matter what it takes. Once you have set every fiber of your being on this mission, you’re golden. This is THE hardest part but once you accomplish this, the rest is merely logistics.
2. You’ll need some money.
You thought this was some fluffy article about embracing your inner destiny and making dream boards, didn’t you? I love dream boards though, more on that later. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. I told you I was serious about helping you travel, don’t doubt me.
If money is your limiting factor, you’re going to have to a) travel on a budget and/or b) spend some time saving up extra funds. Option (a) will have you traveling sooner while (b) will allow you to travel more comfortably.
How much money do you need? Good question. Well, where do you want to go? Start off by looking at plane tickets since you’ll definitely need that much. Then set a budget. Southeast Asia is probably the cheapest area to travel just FYI. If you’re a first time travel I recommend going the backpacker route. Budget hostels, having all your belonging strapped to your back, doing laundry in a sink… Ah, the joys. Truly something everyone in their 20’s should experience.
On the topic of money, I find people don’t actually struggle with money WHILE they’re traveling but rather, BEFORE they start traveling aka saving up for said travels. See, when you’re abroad you’re (probably) not working so there’s no money coming in and the need to survive is real. But, at home it’s so easy to blow that Friday paycheck on sneakers or cocktails. I don’t blame you. You work hard for your money and are under a lot of stress everyday, too.
If this is you, go back to advice number one and jump. Seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, island hopping in Thailand, spying an elephant in Namibia, these are experiences that no one can EVER put a price tag on or take away from you, I promise.
3. Take time off from your life to live.
Let’s get right into this one and tackle the 3 most common
excuses reasons people give for not traveling:
1) Job. You just graduated university and ACTUALLY got a job! Applause for you! But now you won’t be able to go on that Euro trip you’ve all been talking about since freshman year.
Different opportunities will come and go, so seize them as the do. The point is not to quit your job. Chill. No need to make drastic changes. But definitely talk to your boss, figure out what kind of vacation time you can get, what company culture is like (in terms of moving up, if you really want to stick in this career), and work with what you’ve got!
2) Family. This is a tough one. Bless their hearts, they are just looking out for us. But when mama is a baby boomer and you’re a wanderlusty millennial, it straight up just doesn’t mesh. I get it. For overcoming this, I think it’s important to have all of your other logistics sorted meaning make sure you can pay for your travels independently, know where you want to go, etc then don’t give up. If you’re legally an adult, pull that card on them. Give them the “this is my life” talk and they’ll come back with the “I gave you life” so be ready and be persistent.
3) Relationships. Let’s just preface this one by saying I suck at bf/gf relations so low key maybe don’t follow this advice. The way I see it, it’s going to be either a) bae come with me or b) bae brb see you in 2 weeks/months/years. Traveling should never be some kind of ultimatum.Help them realize what an amazing chance this is and that it will only help strengthen your relationship. If they still don’t agree, that’s seriously shitty and you should probably address that… But I digress.
This is the end my friends. We’ve jumped, saved up just enough money, took time off from work, have a souvenir already picked out for mom, and hopefully didn’t break any hearts in the process. The rest is up to you. So, what are you waiting for?