People have been asking me a lot:
“How do you do it? The traveling thing?”
My automatic response is usually:
“What do you mean?”
It’s not that I don’t know the answer to that specific question. It’s just that sometimes I don’t realize that it’s not a given to everyone to travel, as it is to me. For me traveling is an essential part of my life that I couldn’t imagine living without anymore. No matter if it’s a short trip to a nearby town or long-term travels in far off countries.
How I do it? It doesn’t matter which aspect this question is referred to: Budget, the amount of off-work time, my job or my lung disease Cystic Fibrosis, the answer is:
Traveling is my number one priority.
It’s that simple. Of course that doesn’t mean that my family and friends aren’t the most important instances in my life- which they are– but concerning the way I personally live my life, traveling is my priority. Everything I do, the way I plan my life, the way I chose my job revolves around my love for traveling and no “..but I can’t, because..” can keep me from doing so.
You might think you can’t because..
- your job doesn’t allow you to travel (more)
- you don’t have the money for it
- you have a family of your own
- you have some sort of disease and have to take lots of medicine
- you’re in a committed relationship
- you have no one to travel with
- you’re afraid
Because the thing about priorities is:
If something is really important to you and you want something so bad that it hurts, then you can, without a doubt, make your wishes and dreams come true and achieve your goals. All you need is the will and the heart necessary. You cannot imagine how strong your will can actually be and how much power you have over your own life!
So, if you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t allow you to travel (enough), then chose one that does! Find a job that allows you to be more flexible. Become self-dependent, start up an online-shop, become a freelancer, give yourself the luxury of being able to work from anywhere in the world.* The possibilities are endless. Find a job abroad or take a year off work (a so-called Sabbatical). And even if those options are too extreme for you and you want to stick to your current job: Really savor the off-days you have to travel!
You might not become ridiculously rich this way- that I cannot promise you- but you will without a doubt live a more fulfilled life.
I know. In your head there are about a million different “buts” (no pun intended) popping up, but those unfortunately won’t bring you any closer to your goals.
When it comes to the topic of financing it all boils down to the same thing: If you really want to travel, then stop spending your money on useless shit! The fancy new car, the large apartment, the closet full of clothes which you wear merely a fraction of, the partying on the weekends, going out to eat instead of cooking yourself, that new smartphone..
These are all things that aren’t even for yourself- they are there to impress others. As if what you have, defines who you are. Believe me, it doesn’t.
You have your own family? There are many families out there that travel around the world together.
You have a chronic illness? Of course I cannot speak for everyone who has some sort of disease, because I don’t know what you personally are going through. But I can tell you that even if you have to take loads of medicine like I do and you might not be just as fit as a normal human being, you can still make it work! (More on traveling with a chronic illness in a seperate post soon.)
I could also get into all the other “buts” but I think you know what I’m getting at. Get creative! Be inventive! Do some research, be pro-active! We are so fixated on certain ways of living our lives that it’s sometimes hard to see what else is out there for us. But fact is, YOU are in the driver’s seat of your own life. Especially in our digitalized world there are more possibilities open to us than ever! Let’s seize that chance!
Traveling isn’t for everyone. And it doesn’t have to be! But what a wonderful world would it be if those who love to travel or whatever else they love to do could actually do it? Because more often than not, when I speak to people about my travels, they emphasize how much they’d like to travel more and always they have some sort of excuse for not doing it.
So, what is the most important thing in your life? What do you want your life to revolve around? Become clear on what you want and then set your priorities according to that. And then just do your thing! Your life belongs to only you. Let life be your blank canvas and just start painting!
In part 2 of this blog post I will let you in on how I personally “do the traveling thing”- financially, health- and jobwise and how I make traveling my priority. Later, in my series “The Ultimate Guide to Individual Travel” I will then give you practical tips on how you too can become a travel-pro 😉
(*If you’re interested in working location-independently (as a digital nomad) I recommend the Ebook by Conni Biesalski (only for the German-speakers unfortunately though it’s very worth it!). Also, all books by Tim Chimoy are very inspiring and will give you lots of information. A classic is also “The 4-hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss.)
What is your priority in life? Do you really want to travel more and what is keeping you from doing it?