It seems like whenever I have a conversation with someone new, whoever it is, the topic of travel somehow manages to creep into the fore front. It generally happens in some way or form like this:
“Hi, I’m Steve.”
“Hi Steve, it’s nice to meet you! I’m Clay.”
“It’s nice to meet you too Clay. So what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a travel writer and yourself?”
Outside of creating conversations with myself because I’m lacking friends, generally of the human variety (I do have a cat if that helps my case), this is essentially how the majority of conversations I have go.
Okay, this version is a wee bit rushed. But either way, because most people find my “job” fascinating, they tend to inquire about it.
This isn’t what I’m trying to get at though. It’s what happens next…
“I would love to see the world, but I’m too [Insert stupid annoying adjective]!”
Old, poor, inexperienced, nervous, scared I’ll be the next person to be bombed/kidnapped/put in the sex slave trade. There is always something stopping them and it’s almost always a ridiculous reason.
At this point, I just kind of smile and nod my head. Not wanting to subject myself to another one of these conversations. I don’t normally tell them that they are wrong and they really CAN travel, it gets exhausting and once views are set, they are hard to change. Plus, let’s face it. I’m much more suave in my writing than I am in person.
So today, with ranting aside, I want to try to blow away your fears that travel isn’t right for you by proving that you can do anything.
But isn’t it too dangerous to travel?
I’d say this is the most common travel fear that I hear from people. With the rate that the media discusses the bad in the world, people fail to realize that all of the wars are in incredibly concentrated areas of the world. The world is as safe as your backyard, it’s just much sexier. Even if a war is going on in a country, you will more than likely be safe traveling there; a war isn’t going to take over an entire country.
So what about traveling to the Middle East? Go travel to the Middle East! There are plenty of badass places to explore and the history is amazing. Ignore Fox News and CNN, they’re too busy pushing their angles and making money off of scaring the public. In fact, check out these sweet trips with G Adventures, a tour company.
If you’re really concerned about your safety, you can always check out the U.S. Governments Travel Warning website where they’ll tell you if it’s safe to go or not.
What if something happens when I’m gone?
Nothing is going to happen while you are gone. The world you know will still be there. It will just feel different because of your new (and did I say awesome?) world view. I get a reminder of this every time I come home when I’ve been gone for a long period of time, often 3-4 months away, and it feels like I never left in the first place. It’s actually almost a saddening feeling when you return, making you want to do a 180 and leave again.
Just make sure to take care of things before you leave for long periods of time. Sell your items you won’t be needing that don’t have much value to you (I’ve been feeling like less is more lately), automate your bills and make sure you have a plan to pay them and fund yourself, tell your family and friends where you’re going and finally, give them your contact info.
I really want to travel, but I’m waiting for my friend to come.
If you’re always waiting for someone else, you’ll never gain what you want in life. People will rarely ever be on the same page as you, especially when it comes to travel. Your friend may really want to travel, but if they keep moving the date back or hesitating to even start planning, it’s time to move on and hit it solo. Take the leap.
It’s scary as hell to go alone, that’s normal. But there are a ton of places from forums to a few thousand blog posts out there to help you prepare yourself and get over your nerves. Just remember that you will be able to make friends and you will have fun. Booking a tour is also a great way to travel. You’ll often be put in a group that ranges on average from 8 – 15 people who share the same love of travel you do.
I wasn’t able to get to nearly all of the travel excuses out there, but hopefully this article makes you feel a little better about going out and exploring the world. That was my aim anyway!
Feel free to comment at the bottom about your thoughts on travel excuses. I’d love to hear them!
(Photo credit: Esmar Abdul Hamid)