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3 Tips to Become a Traveler

Woman standing in the center of the photo with Machu Picchu in the background

 

I’m traveling to Iceland soon for a vacation with a couple of my girlfriends. I decided to share 3 tips for those of you who dream of traveling but always relegate those dreams to someday…meaning you never actually make it happen.

 

When I was younger I yearned to see the world. My family never traveled out of Michigan so I really didn’t have any exposure to, or experience with, planning travel. 

 

I took a few road trips in my early twenties to Florida, Georgia, and New Orleans and those trips really lit the travel bug in me, I wanted to see everywhere. 

 

Soon after, I was married and my husband did not really share the urge to travel. He’s very much a home body and finds travel stressful. Lucky for me, he soon began working a job that included incentive trips every year and my husband earned every one of those yearly trips. These trips are paid for, always top of the line, and all the details are worked out for us. This is the best way to travel with someone who, like my husband, gets really stressed by new experiences and the nuts and bolts of traveling.

 

For the last twenty years we have gone on these awesome vacations and I know this will sound really un-appreciative but about seven years in, I wanted to choose some of the places I would travel to. I had a bucket list and my stuff wasn’t getting checked off. We had been to Hawaii a couple times, all over the Caribbean, to Europe…but I didn’t get to choose, ever.

 

I brought the subject up to my husband many times about planning a vacation ourselves and he was simply not interested. It was an issue for me, a big issue. I really wanted to see Greece, Machu Picchu, Japan…I was very unhappy and this topic among other things was a catalyst for a huge blow out between us.

 

I was so unhappy, I had all these things I wanted to do in life and he didn’t want the same things. I was sure we would have to split up for me to be happy, he was holding me back. I’d never live the life I dreamed of. But during that fight, I had a life changing realization from something he said. He said, “it’s not my fault you aren’t doing the things with your life you want to do, if you want to travel, then travel, I’m not holding you back, it’s up to you”.  Boom! Insert mind blown emoji here.

 

I was totally blaming him for all the things in my life I wasn’t doing. I booked a trip to Greece within the month and haven’t looked back.

 

I travel somewhere nearly every year, minus the Covid Years, and my independence doesn’t stop there. I do what I want, if there is something you want in life there is no Knight in shining armor coming to deliver it to you. You have to be your own knight in shining armor.

 

Of course, I am considerate of my husband, our finances, and our plans as a couple but I no longer hold myself back from things without examining why I’m doing that. 

 

With travel I was afraid to travel alone, I was worried what people would think if I went on a trip without my husband, I thought people would think I was selfish. I had many reasons but none of them were good ones. Most of them stemmed from assuming things should be a certain way or from pleasing other people.

 

So that is how we get here. I’m heading to Iceland with my girls to drive the ring road and hopefully see the Northern lights. We are planning waterfall hikes, horseback rides, and even snorkeling between tectonic plates. 

 

Life is too short not to live your best life. For me that includes travel, for my husband that looks more like weekly cupcake baking at home watching SpongeBob. You get to choose, that’s the beauty and diversity of life. 

 

If you are interested in travel and have no idea where to begin, know there are many avenues to getting a trip planned. It just depends on how you want to travel and what you want to spend. 

 

When it comes to planning a trip there are hundreds of travel sites and blogs you can explore to get an idea of how to do it. 

 

What I want to help you with here is to get you to actually take action and pull the trigger. To actually go on that trip you always wanted to go on.

 

Where do you even begin? 

 

ADDRESS YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

 

Remember that we naturally want to play it safe and that any kind of change can be uncomfortable. It’s totally normal. 

 

You have to expect to deal with this or you will never go anywhere. 

 

Seeing how other people live and the different landscapes will grow you like nothing else will and learning to trust in your ability to take care of yourself and navigate the world will spill over into all areas of your life.

 

Ask yourself, where do I want to travel?

 

Immediately you may hear a voice in your head telling you all kinds of limiting beliefs.

  • It’s too expensive
  • I’ll never have the money
  • It’s selfish of me to spend money this way
  • I’m too busy for a vacation
  • My husband, girlfriend or partner, won’t let me go 
  • I can’t leave my kids
  • I can’t travel alone or no one will go with me
  • I don’t know what to do

 

Respond to that voice. “I’m going to figure this out.” Become friends with this negative voice. It will point out all the pitfalls, potential problems, and concerns EVERY step of the way while planning, executing, and even while traveling. Get used to it and be prepared to patiently listen, digest any TRUE issues, and then respond, “I’m going to figure this out”. 

 

If you are only willing to consider doing what seems easy or possible you will never do anything different than what you are already doing.

 

Address the real concerns, don’t let fear hold you back.

 

CHOOSE A DESTINATION

 

Pick a destination. If you are brand new to travel maybe you want to build up to more adventure by planning a road trip in your state. Or choosing a nearby city to visit and tour. You can strengthen your adventure muscle, bit by bit, until travel outside of your state or country isn’t so overwhelming. 

 

The key is to start somewhere.

 

Choose where you want to go. 

 

Do some initial quick research or look at pre-planned group tours online to gauge how much a trip may cost and when you will want to go there. Like I mentioned above there are thousands of ways to actually plan the trip. Decide what fits your budget and destination, what fits best for you.

 

If your trip will be out of the country, I suggest you book through a travel agency or a large travel company that handles everything for you, especially for first time or nervous travelers. Some destinations require vaccinations, permits, and specific travel documents.

 

If you love planning and want to take the time to research and book everything yourself, by all means. Just don’t get stuck in the planning stage and never move to the execution stage.

 

BOOK THE TRIP THEN SHARE YOUR PLAN AFTER IT’S BOOKED

 

As you are doing this, I know that voice is constantly repeating all those thoughts like the ones above, but remember, you are figuring this out.

 

Book the trip, write the check, or pay the deposits. COMMIT.

 

After you have booked the trip then tell your friends and extended family. I say after because they will now bombard you with all their fears and worries about you traveling. 

  • Travel is dangerous
  • That place has tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes…
  • You could get COVID
  • You can’t travel by yourself, with that friend
  • Without your partner or kids?!
  • Is spending money on travel responsible?

 

And the list will likely go on, especially if you are surrounded by people who have their own limiting beliefs holding them back. They may even be secretly jealous that they haven’t the courage to do what you have done.

 

I hope sharing this story and these 3 tips will move your travel dreams out of the someday category and into the next week or month category. 

 

So get out your bucket list and get checking things off. If you don’t have a bucket list I have a free bucket list template to help you get started. CLICK HERE to download or print your free bucket list template.

 

Do it today!!

 

As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it”.

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