Why is it that for most people traveling is something they crave for, yet they do very little? Why do people associate traveling with something expensive? And even if they have money, why do they complain about lack of time to travel? Why do they think that traveling is a 2-3 week break during the year? Let’s challenge these ideas! I think that to travel you have to want to travel. It’s really about your state of mind.
First of all, I think that the above ideas are imposed on you by: 1) the travel industry, 2) the society, and 3) own laziness. Let’s be honest. Think about it: what holds you back right now from taking a break and going somewhere for a week? And I mean right now. If you could travel anywhere without any consequences, would you do that? Do you have what it takes to leave your house for a week? Or even for 2 days?
Time. Let’s say your life-span is 80 years. That equals 4160 weeks. What happens if you decide to spend one of these weeks traveling? Think about the reasons for doing that now, instead of the reasons for not doing it. Do you really want to travel?
Money. You need to buy food. But you have to do that anyways, regardless of where you are.
Accommodation. Check out CouchSurfing. You can stay at someone’s place for a week. Or better, find 2-3 people who can host you. You pay $0.
Transport. Depending on where you wanna go, the cost may vary. Let’s say you’re broke as fuck. Perfect, check our hitch-hiking or car pooling. I met people who traveled all around Europe, America, and Asia that way. How much they paid? $0.
That’s all you need to start the journey. Well, almost. What you really need is a strong desire to make things happen.
Now, the key thing is that traveling is not so much about the location, but more about the state of mind. It doesn’t mean going to some remote island. You can go to a nearby town and enjoy traveling. I routinely do that when I visit Mississauga or Toronto. Set your mind into the travel mode. Stop for a while and think: how is your mindset different when you travel from your current state of mind? Take your time.
For me the key difference is that when you travel you are in the absorb mindset. It’s a state of mind where you absorb incoming sounds, pictures, smells, feelings without prematurely judging them. You are just as curious as a small child for whom everything is new. For me the joy of traveling comes from: meeting new people, appreciating the architecture, learning the culture, getting into unexpected situations, and stepping out of my comfort zone. You can certainly have all of that in the nearby town. It’s the matter of paying attention to the details. Think about what you enjoy about traveling.
You can even become a tourist in your own town. Why not to apply the same mindset to daily situations. Start looking at the things around you, change the usual route to school/work, talk to people about whatever comes to your mind. Isn’t the world more interesting then? Several months ago I even heard about a girl who was CouchSurfing in her own town!
Now, go to a nearby city and see what’s cool there! OK, honestly, I’m almost sure that you will find excuses and will not do that. But remember, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Are you happy about it?