We come across a lot of people who after hearing that we just decided to pack up and leave home to travel South East Asia, tell us that they wish they could do it. I then give them a list of reasons of why they should do it, and they then give me a list of excuses on why they can’t. Here’s my response!
I Have No Money
Bull. You have money. You just don’t know how to use it. You obviously have enough money to buy a computer and to buy the internet to read this. You have money, you might not have enough to travel using planes, or to stay in 5 star hotels, but you will have enough to buy a bus ticket, to stay in $3 huts in the jungle, or even to explore the next town from home. You can easily save for a few months, and then travel cheaply or for a shorter period of time.
I Have No Time
You are most likely to have at least 4 weeks of annual leave from your job. That’s four weeks you can use to spend your time traveling to somewhere new, or somewhere old. If you’re a student, then you have tons of free time. You don’t need to travel every year, you can spend one holiday working, then the following holiday actually traveling. Take a weekend trip if need be. You have time, you’re just not using it wisely.
I Have Children
You should’ve traveled before you had children. If you do have children, then obviously it’s difficult to go around backpacking with them. I’ve seen some families do it, (one Finnish couple even took their school age children out of school for half a year!) but personally I wouldn’t. I would wait until they were old enough to appreciate the different scenery and so that they can get some perspective. But you can still travel. It doesn’t even have to be overseas, or even far from home, but traveling just shows you and your kids that there is a world outside of the norm of school, work, home, repeat.
I Have A Career
Careers may be important, and while we quit our jobs, there are options for those who don’t wish to throw it all away. I have a friend who requested a year’s leave from work, which they honoured. Others have taken 3-6 months unpaid leave from work. The benefit of this is that you still have a job (which you probably enjoy) when you come back! Talk to your boss to find out your options. Sometimes they can be very receptive to the idea of you traveling and experiencing more. My boss was very encouraging and wistfully told me that he should have done the same in his twenties! It’s always nice to keep in touch with your past employers too, just a quick note to say what you’re doing, when you might be back etc. With the internet nowadays, it’s also very easy to keep yourself informed about any changes or new developments in your field.
I Have A Fear Of _________
Fear of flying, fear of spiders, fear of the unknown? I had a fear of water, and now I’m a certified Dive Master. It’s ridiculous but these fears pale in comparision to what you’ll end up experiencing and seeing. Traveling also forces you to confront some of these fears and grow more confident in your abilities. I now know that humans are more capable than I once thought. If that small 98 yr old man can lug a huge bag of rice around, then surely I can jump into a pool.
There is always going to be an excuse, and there’s never a right time to drop your bags and go into the unknown. That’s why you should do it right now, start saving, or book that ticket, or sell your belongings. Whatever it is, do it now. Why not? What’s stopping you? The good, the bad, and the ugly experiences and memories you will create will be worth it.