Now, I’m not the preaching type. But over my past 8 months abroad, I have had countless people say to me “I wish I could do what you’re doing.” And I respond back to them, “Well, you can! We’re young, this is the time!” And then they reply…
“But I can’t.”
Can’t. This word paralyzes me. I hate it more than a 4 hour flight delay. More than losing my 6th lip balm of the month. Even more than when my fave restaurant runs out of my absolute fave dish I’ve been craving all week (YEA, I said it. You know that feeling is the worst…)
When I was growing up, Guacamommy taught me a lesson, that I now pin as one (if not the most) valuable lessons of my childhood. There is no such word as can’t. In fact, when I was younger I wasn’t even allowed to use the word can’t. It was grouped in the same category as every other forbidden four letter word. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh shi*, that’s crazy!” Well, it’s true. You can if you want. The only obstacle stopping you is you.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way people.
I have compiled a list of the 7 (lamest) excuses I have heard time and time again, as to why you want to travel, but “can’t.” And why you don’t. And I’ve debunked each and every single one…because you know why? You can.
Let’s face it. We are all young and broke. I currently have 500 dollars to my name, and I am not ashamed to say it. Traveling cheap is far easier than you think. Hostels and CoachSurfing, cheap (but delicious) eats, trains and small suitcases. That’s all it takes. Oh…and there are also soooo many more ways than you’d think to make money abroad. According to Wandering Earl, there’s 42 to be exact. Just read this.
2. Your job. “But I can’t just quit my job…”
I see your reasoning. But do you wanna look like THIS? A job is a hard thing to quit. Especially if you just got it! But you got one once, you can get one again. In fact, you can probably get a better one because A) You have the experience on your resume, which you didn’t have before and B) You will be cultured as fuhhhh*, and life experience in the job market is all the rage these days. And just think of how much harder it will be to quit your job 20 years from now…
You know the beautiful thing about a degree? It doesn’t expire. I am currently working in Spain as a teacher. Did I study education? Pshhh…no. I studied marketing and journalism, and I just so happen to have found the most relevant post-degree out-of-office experience a journalist could ask for…And you’re reading it! Opportunities to work in your field of choice exist everywhere in the world, if you look for them.
And the good news? That shiny diploma will still be sitting proudly in your parents house, waiting for your return (assuming your dog doesn’t get hungry). What’s more? You will be receiving a second degree without even picking up a text book, or paying any outrageous tuition bills. A degree in life. The study of the the real world. Take THAT Harvard Grad.
Who actually works in the field that they got their degree in any way…
They’ll miss you too. But they’ll be there when you get back! There’s also this incredibly awesome recent invention that allows you to talk to your loved ones face to face, anywhere in the world, any time. It’s called….Skype! Or FaceTime. Pick your poison. But I kid you not, I talk to my parents more now than when I was living in the same house as them. You know, baby bird has gotta fly out of the nest some day. Have you grown your big bird wings?
PS- Just think about how much harder it will be to travel WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS. Gasp.
5. Your boyfriend/girlfriend. “What if I lose them…”
You know that saying, “if you love someone and let them go, and they come back to you they’re yours forever” ? Well, it’s true! What’s meant to be will be, but while your young you gotta do YOU! Check out this awesomely inspiring post from The World on my Necklace . She is traveling without her fiancé for a year. By choice. Why? Because this is the time! We’ve got our whole lives to settle down and buy that adorable suburban house with the white picket fence; but we are too young, wild and free to trap ourselves in that fence quite yet. And who knows! There might even be some hotter, smarter, funnier, richer (and way more exotic) prince(ess) charming waiting for you on the other side of the world…
But you’ll never know until you go 😉
6. FOMO/ Bad Timing. “Well, It’s not a good time, because I have my cousins wedding, my neighbors communion, my best friends birthday is next month, and…”
BLAH BLAH BLAH. Do you ever think it will be a good time? Life has a way of popping important things up, just when the timing seems most inconvenient. If you’re constantly waiting for a “good time,” don’t hold your breath. Thus, you gotta throw your FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) aside. Once you bite the bullet and except what you’re going to miss, just think about all of the awesome experiences you will have in exchange. God, if I had a piece of chocolate for how many reunions my best friends have had since I’ve been gone, how many family vacays I’ve missed, and how many Facebook picture I would have been in…I’d be the size of Saturn. But instead, I’m here galavanting around Europe. Worth it, I’d say…
7. Nobody can travel with you. “But I don’t want to go alone…”
GREAT. Even better! Traveling alone is the best, and I strongly encourage EVERYONE to try it at least once in their lifetime. Imagine; you can go where you wanna go, eat what you wanna eat, sightsee where you wanna (or don’t wanna) sightsee…The list goes on! You also meet far more people when you are alone. I have met the most interesting, kick ass people on my solo travels. And you know what? I never, ever would have met them if I was traveling with a friend. Don’t believe me? Take it from the traveling tramps of eTramping, who explain the 10 Benefits of Travelling Solo best.
YEA. I was pretty much peeing myself of fear…
Fear of the unknown. Fear of messing up. Fear of not landing. These fears exist within all of us, whether we are jumping out of a plane, or walking into a grocery store where we don’t speak the language. It’s the fear of being out of our comfort zone. The fear of missing your flight, or losing your passport. The fear of not being able to relate with the people around you. The fear of getting lost in unfamiliar roads. The list of fears go on and on. But you know how to conquer your fear?
What are some of your biggest travel fears? Is there anything that’s stopping you from traveling not mentioned on the list? If you have left your life behind to travel, what inspired you to do so? Comment below and let’s talk about it!