feet up on desk at workA number of you are planning to travel the world one day, which won’t happen unless you can overcome these 7 obstacles. It takes some effort to get your life and mind in order to make traveling the world a reality, but once you lay out a good plan it’s much easier than most people think.

Most of you who responded to my poll said you were planning on traveling the world one day. This series will help you identify the 7 major obstacles you’ll face and how to overcome them one by one.

#1 You Are Comfortable At Your Job

Putting off or neglecting your traveling dreams because of your job is really a symptom of a bigger issue. That being comfort and stability, with the daily routine you’ve carved out for yourself. Many people take the plunge and travel around the world yet there are many sitting on the sidelines who hesitate because of the uncertainty.

It’s that uncertainty that lures you to travel around the world from behind your desk but it’s the certainty that keeps you there. The trick is to bring some of your routines along with you and remember that jobs and job skills are highly portable.

How It Keeps You From Traveling

It is extremely difficult for most human beings to break their routines. Whether you love your job or hate it, the routine ties your life to it and helps your brain to ease anxiety. As Dan commented, you may be concerned that sabbatical might hurt your career by keeping you out of the loop or concerned about losing a reliable source of income.

Why It Shouldn’t

If it’s money you’re worried about, remember once you quit your job, you don’t leave your skills and what you’ve learned behind. You can take them with you anywhere and that’s what you can use to find employment elsewhere – and anywhere in the world. For those of you with office jobs, get yourself a good laptop and load this essential software for digital nomads and check out my amateur’s guide to location independence.

Keep in contact with your colleagues and load up an RSS reader with blogs, websites, and magazines that cover your field so you can stay on top of the latest developments in your industry and maintain your career edge.

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meditating in the darkGet Prepared To Reduce Anxiety

I’ll get into this more in Part 2, but you need to save enough money to actually get by without a job for at least 3 months. Having this buffer makes it easier to go through with the decision and leave your job or ask your boss for the opportunity to work from the road. (You could of course save enough money for a year or more of travel but if you can learn to make money on the road you can extend most trips indefinitely.)

Things to Consider:

  • Ask your boss if they’d consider letting you work from the road, even if it’s part time.
  • Don’t burn your bridges or lessen the quality of your work, especially during that tough countdown to your big trip.
  • Consider extending your trip and staying in each place for a longer period of time. This lets you find work, get work done (even if you’re working remotely), and let’s you immerse in each culture and place along your travels.

Creating New Routines

Waking up, getting ready, heading to work, and coming home in the evening is a fairly standard routine for millions of people. You may imagine that once your travels begin each day will descend into disarray, making it difficult to find a quite moment or develop a sense of quasi-normalcy we crave at some level.

When you are preparing and planning for your trip hone the stress to improve your travels and jot down a few routines that give you comfort which you can incorporate into your trip. For me that’s making time for breakfast, no matter where I am – for you it can be anything that you’d miss (like morning coffee at the office without the office).

Once you have that list I’m willing to bet that going to work for 9 hours a day and doing the same thing over and over with limited vacation time won’t be on it. Next Thursday in Part 2 I’ll get into how to save, spend, and overcome your anxieties about money so you can travel around the world.

[photos by: Pablo Baslini, connerdowney]