I’m tired of hearing excuses.
This lifestyle didn’t just fall on my lap. I didn’t wake up one day to find myself with thousands of dollars in my bank and the freedom to travel anywhere whenever I wanted. It was the complete opposite. I had negative balances and a job that kept me indoors, exhausted, and lazy. I hated it.
The only way anything was going to change was to be as dedicated as possible towards my goal. Having priorities is key to motivation and getting things done.
“I could never give up X”: Having a passion for a hobby may seem difficult to give up. It’s understandable but you don’t really have to give it all up. My hobby was expensive. I was a DJ and had some serious equipment. I purchased music and craved new equipment. Initially it was heartbreaking to give up but my priority was elsewhere. I still have a passion for it though and to get my fix, I do things that are easier on my wallet while not having to completely give it up. I collect music, DJ as often as I can abroad, and active in the community.
It does take some sacrifices if you want to travel. It’s up to you to take responsibly in what is important to you. Is going to concerts every weekend more important than travel? That’s up to you to decide.
“I’ll travel when I finish school”: School is important. I don’t recommend quitting. I do hear this statement quite often though and in many cases, I doubt they’ll travel immediately after school. Americans are often stuck with thousands of dollars in loans that will need to be paid shortly after graduating. This then puts Americans directly to work to start paying it off. Years pass and the calendar of beaches around the world sits in their office.
Loans are difficult to avoid for Americans. I’m still paying mine and yet I’m traveling around the world. While I worked, I paid as much as I could and when I budgeted my trip, I made sure to budget the school loan payments as well. This again goes back to having priorities and motivation to make traveling long-term possible. Do everything in your power to have the least amount of money owed by the time you graduate. Apply for grants, scholarships, and anything else available. If you really want to travel after school, prepare for your trip while you’re still in school because otherwise, you’ll need to work for awhile after school to save up. There’s nothing wrong with that, just don’t kid yourself that you’ll be able to travel immediately after school when you’ll have no money to do it.
“I want to travel, but I have a house and kids”: Everyones situation is different. A house and kids definitely requires a bit more dedication than what I had to do but it’s still possible to travel for an extended period of time.
In the book On the Other Guy’s Dime by G. Michael Schneider, he was able to travel for many years while still maintaining a house and kids in their early teens. As a professor, he had the summers off. Instead of picking up part-time work in the US or lounging around, he took a job teaching abroad. He still earned money and had a new experience in a different culture with the kids. The kids continued to learn even throughout the summer. He was able to keep the house by renting it out 3 months at a time or more.
Search on Google “family long-term travel” and you’ll find that this isn’t even a unique idea and so many people do it and come from different situations.
Here are more excuses I often here.
- I’m scared of traveling solo.
- It’s dangerous abroad and I’ll get killed.
- What about all the drugs? What if I’m drugged and forced into a brothel?
- My work only gives me two weeks.
- I’m in my 30’s and too old to stay in hostels.
- It’s too expensive to travel.
- My parents/boyfriend/girlfriend won’t let me.
- How will anyone understand me with the language barrier?
- There’s weird foods there. What if I eat a dog by accident?
- I don’t eat fish so I would never go to China. (What?)
- Is there even a tourism structor in places like South Korea, Japan, or Australia?
- South Korea is close to North Korea. It must be dangerous there. (Yeap, I really heard this one.)
- I’ve been to Mexico before. Cancun is beautiful. Everywhere else is dangerous.
I found that there’s two different types of excuses. One is coming from people who legitimately wants to travel but needs that extra push in research and motivation to make it happen. This falls more with the excuses of “I’m scared of traveling solo.” With research and experience, there’s little to be scared of when it comes to traveling solo. Then there are those who are making excuses because they don’t actually care for travel and have other priorities. I’d rather someone tell me “I don’t want to travel because” than “I would travel but” because to me it sounds like there’s something stopping you from doing what you’d prefer.
What excuses have you heard?