Life is short. Take the Trip.
I was fortunate to be born into a family that recognized the importance of travel. There were a lot of sacrifices made so that we could see the world. My first international trip was to Greece and Turkey when I was 9 years old. Admittedly, at 9, I couldn't fully appreciate all that I was seeing but that trip awakened a passion and curiosity inside of me that never subsided.
I hear people say all the time that they wished they could afford to travel. I always get push back when I tell them that travel is so important, something they should budget for and make happen. This is met with a variety of responses and was one of my main motivations for starting Pathfinder Travel Planning. I found that people often overestimated the cost of travel, that people were hesitant to travel because they were intimidated by the planning process, even some who thought they were "too old to travel now". There is nothing sadder to me than someone who thinks travel is out of reach. There will be a future blog about the true costs of travel and tips for budgeting but for now here are 5 reasons why you should make travel a priority.
5. Perfect Your Budgeting Skills
The majority of our clients do not have unlimited funds for travel, myself included. BUT, of all the things in life you could spend your money on, traveling should be at the top. I hope you will be convinced of that by the time you finish reading this blog. That being said, any trip you go on will require a budget. I absolutely do not recommend traveling internationally (or even domestically) without a budget in place. This is something I work closely with my clients on. A realistic budget is key to having a great trip! It may take you 6 mo, 12 months, or even 24 months to reach your end budgeting goal but it will all be worth it in the end. Along the way, if you commit to it, you will develop top-notch budgeting skills and the discipline to achieve them.
4. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
Even for the most experienced travelers, there are challenges when it comes to traveling. Delayed flights, missing passports, train schedules changed...the honest truth is that traveling is not always problem free. Even the best-laid plans can hit a road bump or two. This shouldn't be a reason to avoid traveling. If you prepare for all possibilities you will be armed with the knowledge to deal with these. This is one great reason to use a travel planner but it's also one of the best side effects of traveling. If you travel enough you will see it all and you truly will feel like you can solve any problem. This translates to your everyday life. The more you travel, the more confident you'll get and that will be evident in all aspects of your life! Seeing the world is definitely worth all the possible, temporary stress you may encounter and you'll come out stronger on the other side!
3. Self Discovery
"Lose yourself. Discover yourself." A phrase you'll see often on Pathfinder Travel Planning because it's one of my favorite reasons to travel. In conjunction with "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger", you may think you know a lot about yourself but when you're navigating a foreign country that might not speak your language I promise you will discover more about yourself than you ever imagined. One of my favorite travel memories was losing my cell phone in Valencia, Spain. What resulted was me putting all self-doubt, and a little bit of my dignity, into a box and throwing it away as I tapped into those few Spanish classes I took in High School and engaged in the biggest game of charades in my life. A lot of laughs and strange looks later and the phone was found. Crisis averted, charade game raised!
2. You Can't Take It With You When You Go
How many times have you heard someone say that? Hopefully a lot but if not, you've heard it at least once now. Here's another fact: Life is short. Do you really need that XL TV or another pair of shoes? Take the trip. Travel with your friends. Travel with your family. Create moments. Make Memories. Start with 1 trip. You'll want to do more. And more. And pretty soon you'll have less "stuff" and a lifetime of pictures, stories, and experiences that you really can take with you when you go.
1. One Earth. One People.
I could probably write a blog about 50 reasons to make traveling a priority and this would still be #1. There are over 7 billion people on planet Earth. Seven continents. 195 countries. It is understandably easy to feel disconnected from much of the world. In this time of information overload, it is hard to determine what is accurate. The solution? Go and see for yourself. If you never step outside the boundaries of your town, your state, or your country you are missing out on one of the most human experiences that life offers. Maya Angelou once said, “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Without a doubt my favorite part of traveling is meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and seeing life through the eyes of someone who has had an entirely different upbringing then you have. Anyone who has traveled knows that Maya Angelou's words are so beautifully true. Traveling will open your eyes to incredible things but more importantly, it will open your mind and what could be more important than that?
There you have it! My top 5 reasons to make traveling a priority. You can start small by visiting another state or jump right in and travel internationally, whatever you choose to do the important thing is that you DO it. Happy travels!