Wanting vs. Doing: Make Traveling a Reality
Wanting and doing are two different things. Lots of people want to travel. Fewer do. It’s not because traveling is unattainable, it’s because the doing involved scares many of us away. Every travel blog I’ve seen has valid reasons to travel. Every travel blog has the list of common excuses people use to not travel. And every travel blog gives the obligatory disclaimer that I’ll give now: It’s ok to not travel. Traveling is expensive, time consuming and involves varying degrees of discomfort. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. But if it is your thing – something you’ve wanted to do – then do it.
What’s that you say? You can’t afford it?
You don’t have time?
You don’t have anyone to travel with?
Waah. Waah. Waah.
You big, fat baby.
If you’re really serious about traveling then you can find a way to make your wanting into doing. If you commit to traveling to this place by this date chances are you’ll find a way to make it happen. It’s amazing how much money and time you suddenly have if you prioritize travel. It’s amazing how many people are willing to go with you when you make it clear that you are doing it – or how many people you’ll meet along the way if you wind up traveling solo.
It’s not always easy, I know. I’ve often seen my travel savings slip away after a few big nights out or unexpected car repairs. The reality of things is that doing takes work. So here are a few tips to help transform your wanting into doing:
Set Reasonable Goals
You won’t save a million bucks over night (or if you can, please be my friend) but you can save…ten, five, two dollars a day? Maybe you won’t have enough cash for that trek off to Antarctica. But how about trying out the cool small town you heard about that’s within driving distance? Chances are once you make travel a regular occurrence you’ll find a way to eventually work your way up to Antarctica.
Tell everyone that you’re going to Malaysia. Or India. Or wherever. Tell them when you’re going and for how long. Mark it on your calendar (even if you haven’t already booked the flights) and circle your date of departure in big, annoying marker. Use social pressure to your advantage. None of this wishy-washy maybe stuff. Once you’ve committed in public you’d better follow through or you’ll look like a big tool.
Have Check Points
It’s great to set a goal to save $10,000 in the next twenty-four months. But until you’re at the twenty month mark, your goal can become “something you’ll get around to later.” Avoid the last minute scramble and inevitable disappointment by setting check points along the way. You’ll save your first $100 in the next two weeks. You’ll book your flight by the end of the month. Make sure each check point is reasonable but pushes you just slightly out of your normal comfort zone.
Each time you successfully reach a check point, reward yourself. Buy a cheap travel guide about your destination of choice. Print pictures of your soon-to-be travel spot and tape them to the refrigerator to remind yourself you’ll soon be there. Pump yourself up by updating friends and family on how close (not far) you are to making your trip a reality. Get involved with other travelers in your community or online. Join travel networks, read travel articles and follow travel blogs that remind you why you’re doing this.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to transforming your waah waah wanting into real, actual doing. Welcome aboard, Traveler! Now get out there and go travel.
What are some tips that have helped you make traveling a reality?