First, let me say this: I have the best blog readers. I really do…
After reading about my lunch with Alisha who wanted advice on her trip to Spain, loyal reader Nikki offered to take me out to dinner to pick my brain about her travel ambitions. Like I said before offer a free meal and you can pretty much ask me anything you want.
Nikki’s great goal is to take off and bounce around Southeast Asia for a while.
Not for a few months.
Nope, she wants to leave the USA for a FEW YEARS, scuba diving, eating pad thai and learning another language, among other things.
And she’s well on her way to doing that. She’s taking care of her finances and getting her life in order before she goes and buys a ticket.
What she asked me about was what many long term travelers and anyone who does anything outside the box encounters.
The Doubting Thomases
Nikki talked about family and friends who told her all the bad things that could happen to her and one of the main reasons she wanted to talk to me was to get some positive reinforcement. What she needed to hear was a friendly voice telling she can do it. And she absolutely CAN do it.
Isn’t it amazing that the people who have never done what you want to do always have a negative opinion about it? Where are their objections coming from? MAYBE from love because they care about you. Or maybe from believing that because they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it themselves, you can’t either.
The other thing people who travel extensively hear is, “What are you running away from?”
Who said we are running away from anything? A curiosity beyond our own little domains and a sense of adventure can make people go anywhere. Someone does not have to be running from a bad relationship, the police or anything else to take off for parts unknown.
Don’t let people run guilt trips or otherwise dictate your life according to how they think it should be. If travel is going to make you happy, do it. YOU are the person ultimately responsible for your own joys in life.
The Internal Self-Doubt
Nikki wonders if she was doing the right thing. She’s going to leave her family and friends and a perfectly good job to do this. Shouldn’t she just stay home and continue doing what she’s doing? She arguably has a great life. But there is a need for more, something that is pushing her forward to see Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia for an extended period of time.
I told Nikki it took me a long time to actually buy my round the world ticket. I had the itinerary, the cost, the dates, everything. I just could not pull the trigger and give my credit card number.
Exactly a month before I was scheduled to leave, I finally sucked it up and booked the trip. And never looked back.
I just kept thinking if I miss this opportunity now I may never get it again. That thought propelled me forward.
The one thing that drives many people to travel is the sense of needing a change, desiring some new mental stimulation and challenges in our lives. Traveling is an adventure from the moment you wake up until you close your eyes again.
That fact is you’ll hate the feeling of regret if you don’t do it.
So for all the people out there like Nikki, who have grand dreams of travel but hold back for whatever reason…
Believe in yourself and your aspirations.
Shut out all the doubters and haters.
And go for it.