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?
This is so true, good post. There are excuses to do and not do everything but if you really want something it’s up to you to make it happen. Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks, Maria. I guess the old saying is true that you have to work hard for anything worthwhile. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the comment!
Great practical pointers on how to get started, which can be the hardest part. They help give structure to what otherwise might remain a “want to” travel dream, making it seem real and possible! Thanks.
Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s so easy to make travel one of things you plan to do when you get around to it. Like you say, it’s important to create some form of organization to get you moving and help you stay on track as you enter the wild, wonderful world of traveling.
I’m starting my check list today!!!!
Glad to hear! Happy travels!
The stop trying start doing is my new motto especially about travels. I am embarking a year of solo Interactive Travelling so I am all hears if you have any tips about it
Wow! This is so exciting to hear! Where are you in terms of planning the trip? If you’re still at the start of things, my first tip would be to prioritize what it is you really want to do with this year of traveling. Do you want to see as many places as you can or spend more time in just a few places? Even a full year can fly by if you don’t have some sort of idea of what type of traveling you want to do (which I’m sure you already do!). Once you’ve decided (approximately) how many places you want to go, I’d list where you want to go and rank them from top choice down. Make sure to leave a few extra places on the list that just in case your plans change throughout the year then start researching your top choices. A lot can and will happen in a year, so I wouldn’t worry about planning every little detail, just educate yourself on the places you’d like to go (if you’re not already familiar with them). This sounds like an incredible year you have ahead of you! Happy travels!
Thanks a lot for the tips. I have few places down as I will meet friends there, and I have a wish list of things I’d like to experience. I hope some of you guys and readers and so on will help check the square by some of them. This is the backbone of the trip, then I will stay and visit as many places as I will have the time and chance to. I started by planning a month working in a farm here in Finland and I ended up prolonging of one month as it is so empowering to work with animals.
On researching places: I think I will try not to go about it with travel guides, I will read books about places I will pass by and get inspiration from them i.e. I am reading “On the Road” as I’d love to have a drive across the US 😉
Thanks again and hope we’ll keep in touch! 😉
Sounds like an incredible experience to start off on a working farm, especially since you sound passionate about animals. I like your idea to read books about places you’re interested in visiting. I had a college professor who used to plan whole trips based on the lives of his favorite authors. He’d start off where they were born and visit places they had been to and written about. I’m happy to help you more with your plans. You’re welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All the best with your planning!