I’ve been travelling since 2009, but it took me a while to get round to getting started on the long term travelling jaunt – there were always good reasons not to travel.
It was always something I wanted to do, but at a point in the future when the time seemed “right”. So I would put it off.
The issue with this approach is that the time may never actually seem right, and suddenly you realise that the right time was at any point in the past.
So here are some great reasons that you can give yourself not to travel, and even better reasons why you should ignore them and just go for it!
Reasons Not To Travel
Because your job needs you
I know, the company you work for loves you. The whole place is liable to fall apart the moment you get away. Why else do you need to work those long hours? Sometimes you don’t even take the vacation days that are available!
If any of this sounds familiar, take some breaths. No-one, whatever your company may tell you, is irreplaceable (scratch that if you’re self employed ;)). The company you work for will be more than capable of replacing you should you leave.
Sure, it may cost them some time in training, and they would rather not go through the hassle, but at the end of the day, a job is just a job. Your life, your experiences and your happiness should be your priority, not the bottom line of a company where you happen to spend the majority of your time.
Your family responsibilities are too great
I hold my hands up. I don’t have kids, or family ties that hold me back from fulfilling my dreams. But time and again I have read, heard about, and met travellers who are having an absolute whale of a time travelling around the world with family in tow.
Yes, travelling with kids presents a whole number of unique challenges, but it is absolutely more than do-able, even for long term expeditions.
You can’t afford it right now
Ah, money. It seems unfair that we spend so much time earning it, and have so little time to spend it. And yes, I admit, travel does require some funds to achieve.
But you can travel for far less than you think. Head to South America or Asia, and your travel budget will probably go an awful lot further than you might imagine. On top of that, there are countless guides and posts from travel bloggers who have been there and done that, offering you advice, ideas and tips for saving money.
If you are really strapped for cash, why not think about earning as you go? The working holiday visa scheme, for example, lets you work and travel in a whole number of different places.
If you’re not eligible to take part in that, other organisations, such as VSO, can help you get an unforgettable experience. Sure, it may not be all beaches and sipping cocktails, but it’s going to be pretty darn memorable all the same.
You may even have a skillset that is portable, that lets you work from wherever you are. However you achieve it, don’t let a lack of funds hold you back from achieving your dreams.
It’s too scary
I am told on a semi-regular basis that I must be awfully brave to do what I do. I’m not totally convinced by this. Anyone who has met me I am sure will let you know that I am hardly the gung ho crazy type. Well, ok, maybe a little.
But seriously, travel these days is easy. Anyone can do it. Millions of people are roaming the globe. Something like 100,000 55+ year old people are currently driving around Australia in campervans, the so called grey nomads. There is a destination and experience out there to suit every taste.
What the hell will you do when you get back?
I know, planning for the future is an Important Thing To Do. With pensions and all that important stuff. And if you don’t do it, well, you’ll be living in a cardboard box in your eighties whilst all those people who did squirrel away their monies will be dropping cold coins on your head, or refusing to buy your copy of the Big Issue.
Actually, I have no response to that. It may be that I end up on the streets living in a cardboard box. But that could happen anyway. No job is entirely secure. But these days, a career break of one or two years is hardly a resume destroyer. Many employers may look upon it favourably – some may even offer a sabbatical as an option.
It may be that after travelling for a while, you decide you want to do something else with your life anyway – replace the office walls with something a bit different. Who knows. Life is an amazing adventure. Don’t be afraid to treat it as such.
You’ve left it too late
Having spent all that time waiting for the right time, you have now decided you are “too old” to travel. Please. No-one is too old to travel, or do anything for that matter. Take Hugh Hefner for example. Well, ok, maybe he’s not the greatest example. But still. Age is no barrier to hitting the road. See my aforementioned Grey Nomads example. And there are plenty more examples where they came from!
Your friends / relatives / pet think it’s a bad idea
Change is a scary thing. Routine is not. Routine is easy. Your wish to break away from routine, and make some kind of massive change in your life, is not only scary to you, it is scary to other people too. You are going against the norm. People will react to this, some positively, some negatively.
Don’t let what other people think get in the way of achieving what you want to achieve. Take their advice on board, hear them out, and then work out what you want to do with your life. After all, you’re the one who has to live it!
Well, I’ve gone on long enough. My point, I hope, has been well made, and it’s a point that extends far beyond just travelling. I’m not saying travelling is right for everyone.
But if you ever find yourself wishing, dreaming, or wondering how you could achieve something, don’t waste time thinking of reasons why you can’t do it. Focus your efforts on making the dream come true instead, I promise you, it’ll be more than worth it!
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback on any of the above. Shout out your thoughts and feelings in the comments below.