A number of you are planning to travel the world one day, which won’t happen unless you can overcome these 7 obstacles. Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.
It may seem that money is the biggest hurdle to overcome to traveling the world but aside from anything external the biggest thing holding you back is yourself. You may be thinking “not knowing where to go” is a stupid thing for anyone to let get in their way but it’s a symptom of not wanting or being able to convert your dreams into realities.
From Your Head To Paper
It’s much easier to follow any plan that’s written down on paper, thought out, and discussed with those you care about. Many people say “I wish I could just travel” but few sit down and set some general plans for their journey.
- Traveling the world is not a fantasy so don’t treat it like one.
Beware that beginning to turn your dreams into realities make them a bit less glamorous and you’ll awaken to the fact that traveling the world takes work. Start off slowly and put a list of 3-5 places down that you’ve always wanted to go. Do this in conjunction with the travel budget you calculated (using an amateur’s guide to location independence part 3) and the haze will begin to get clearer.
Why Do You Want To Travel?
What are your motivations for wanting to travel around the world? Where you decide to go is a reflection of circumstances as much as it is of your personality. The entire world is open to you and that’s daunting when you’re about to leave your cubicle behind and seriously shake up your daily routine.
- Where do you see yourself – on a beach, in the mountains, a big city – perhaps a little of each?
- How long do you want to travel? Is it for a set time or indefinitely?
- Where would you not want to go?
- What are you searching for? What landmarks do you definitely want to see?
Effort In Effort Out
By now you should have an idea of which part of the world you want to go see or at least begin in and some idea of why (i.e. you’ve always been interested in Japanese culture). Grab a map and begin plotting out your journey. Don’t be concerned with how long you’ll stay at each place, or get from city to city just yet. Those are the details – have fun with this stage of planning and don’t leave anything off limits.
- Those lines crisscrossing the map will invigorate you and hurdle you easily over this obstacle.
From this point on the more effort you put toward traveling around the world, like cooking peasant foods to save money, the closer you’ll be to visiting the places you’ve decided to go.
It Starts With Dreams But Doesn’t End There
Dreams and hopes are the foundation of most great things that are accomplished around the world and in our personal lives. Planning on where to go is the obstacle to overcome that’s in between preparation and action. Saving money and letting go of your comfortable day job may not have you convinced that you can actually travel the world. Putting lines down on a map and watching them go around the globe just might.
Now that you have yourself convinced, it’s time to bring your family and friends on board. Next week in Part 4 you’ll break the news to them and find ways to keep them close even though you’ll be traveling the world.
[photos by: LuluP, dmachiavello, stevecadman]
Plotting destinations on a map helps a lot. When I did this I realised just how bad my geography was as I guessed wrongly for more than half the places I wanted to go to. Doing the plotting helped me realise where was feasible for my round the world trip and where would have to wait for “next time”.
Maybe it’s because we’re so visual or rely on computers but I find that writing plans, ideas, etc. on paper really help to focus my thoughts. Even if it’s just the beginning and I eventually do everything on a computer anyway. I always think/try to do everything at once and end up realizing that some things are for next time too.
In the pre-GPS world we would:
1. Flip a coin: This works when you are already traveling. (Years down the road it could drive you crazy wondering what would have happened had the other side of the coin won.)
2. Pin a map on the wall and buy a pack of darts. It’s pretty haphazard but look where you might end up.
3. Follow someone who has been there before and stick with this person until you get the gist of the area.
4. Plan and plan until we didn’t want to go there anymore.
Great ideas, although I’ve tried the dart idea and always ended up in the middle of the Atlantic 🙂 I really like these tips though, having fun is what it’s all about and I hate over-planning too!
I stumbled across this website and I’m glad I’ve found it!
I am trying to figure out where I’m going to travel to and I’ve found I’ve changed my mind at least 4 times now. V. frustraing! I do know that I’d like to be away for about 2 months, resigned from my job just over 1 week ago! I prefer more the adventure type location than the beach. I was thinking of Nepal for some trekking etc, and then I found out today its the Monsoon season, dry season starts October, so that’s off the list for now.
I am an inexperienced traveller so I find myself over-researching… I don’t count having been to Chile 5 times as ‘real’ travel, as my parents are Chilean, we have family there and I’ve never travelled on my own there…
I do like the idea of Machu Micchu, Peru though 😉
sorry for the typos 🙂
Hi Monito, I’m glad you found me as well!
I just read an article by http://jetsetcitizen.com about ‘and’ people (which I am one myself). It’s hard to decide because we want to do it all 🙂 There are so many places to choose from…
I’d say start with a continent or part of the world. Let me know how it goes and what you decide on 🙂
p.s. no worries about typos!
We spent years planning out our trip and it was a blast. I think planning our trip was the only thing that kept us sane. Its a lot of work and things never, ever, go as planned. But having a baseline and letting everything else fall in where ever it does gives you the freedom with a little control over the chaos.
Hi Saben. Traveling the world is a big endeavor and undertaking. It’s easy to get overwhelmed without putting a plan into place. Even a rough sketch can really take a big mental load off. Plus the plan doesn’t leave once you’re gone it can help you navigate around all of the unforeseen things that invariably happen.
Agree so much with yout tip “From Your Head To Paper” — I’m a big fan of lists (and highly recommend the book ‘Getting Things Done’). One thing that helped Kathryn and I visualize our trip was to buya big map from Rand McNally, pin it up on the wall, and start jabbing map pins into everyhwere we wanted to see!
It’s a good book 🙂 Organizing your thoughts seems to get harder everyday since we’re all becoming multi-multi-taskers. Seeing things on paper makes any plan seem less daunting I think.