For a really long time, I have wondered how to answer the question “How can we travel more?” in an article. It is easier when you are talking face-to-face with someone. Then you can ask them exactly what is stopping them and figure out together how to overcome the obstacles.
It is much harder when you want to write an article on the subject because you need to make it valid for everyone. If you want the article to be useful for many people you really need to look deep and hard into the possible problems for traveling. Fortunately, I had a short moment of enlightenment, thanks to my writing mentor – Petya. And I figured I should look at the common excuses. We are so used to them and they seem normal to us. Often when you can’t do something we use them. This is true for traveling, too. We use “I cannot find free time now” or “I don’t feel like going anywhere” when you can’t travel as much as we want to. This is the reason I decided to write this article according to the most common excuses for not traveling.
What about the enlightenment? The structure came from my subconscious. There are many hidden articles and jokes, that I have read at some point, there. That’s now the main three resources, that a person can or can’t have, came up. They are time, money and energy. I remember an old saying, that goes something like that:
When you are young you have time and energy, but no money.
When you are middle-aged you have energy and money, but no time.
When you are old you have money and time, but no energy.
We can argue about how true is that saying. I, personally, am a true believer of “If you have energy everything else can be fixed”. However, now I will use the concepts of time, money and energy (and the lack of those) to give an answer to “How can we travel more?”.
That’s why I will classify the most commonly heard excuses by the lack of one of the three – time, money or energy.
Note: If you have no desire to travel at all, then you should just admit it and wait for a better day when you will feel the road calling you!
I have already made an unconditional response to the words “I have no money to travel”. I have never met someone who magically gets paid just to travel. I would be really happy to meet one, though. Until then, here are some thoughts on the subject of money:
A matter of priorities
Quite often the problem is not the lack of money, but spending them for other things. While it is hard to live without food and shelter, there are many other things beyond that. For example, we manage to live really happily without a TV, the newest iPhone/iPad, new modern clothes. We aim not to buy stuff, but to give our money for experiences and emotions. This is where the problem of priorities comes. What do you prefer giving your money for, after you cover your basic needs (food, water, shelter)?
If traveling is one of your priorities and you still cannot find enough money for it you need to figure out what you spend your money for. You will be surprised by how much you can spare if you try.
Traveling is just too expensive
Asking how much traveling costs is like asking how much happiness costs. Both are priceless. After this well-known phrase let’s get into the specifics.
Two months in South America with our backpacks cost as much as a month-long road trip in New Zealand, which is less than an overhaul of your kitchen. That’s how much traveling costs. But when we are talking about repairs it seems normal to spend that much money, doesn’t it?
Another example – a long weekend in Italy (plane tickets, accommodation, sightseeing and eating in restaurants for two people) is still less than a modern smartphone, that came out last year. Can we survive with our old phone and instead enjoy “dolce vita”?
One last example – trip with car/ train/bus to a place in your own country, even to a neighboring country, and an accommodation for a night is still cheaper than a jacket in the modern for the season pumpkin-like color. Still, if you want to be modern you can try the wheat-like color of nature.
I have no money at all
If you really have no money then it is harder. You still have some options, though. Do not give up!
Here we will share options we have actually tried. For more, you can watch Tomislav Perko’s video, in which he explains how he traveled the world with no money.
If you are still in high-school or in college or university, or even if you are still under 30-years old you need to learn what Erasmus+ is! Do it quickly! Learn how you can make use of the many projects, training and exchanges. This way you will not only visit a new place, but you will also get to know new people and cultures. You can even gain experience and evolve professionally. Here is an example from Erasmus+ exchange in Denmark and a training near London.
If you want to be of some use to someone else, to the society, to different ethnic groups, to the poor and vulnerable, to the world – consider doing some charity work. There are many organizations that connect volunteers with people in need. Check out this post about how to volunteer abroad. Be careful how you pick your organization and read a lot of reviews about it from people who have already worked with them. Sometimes even employers can give you such an opportunity as part of a strategy to involve their employees more. This way Nace helped to a law firm in India and I worked with youth foundations in China.
We all have the same amount of time. How do we spend it? Have we considered every possibility about how to use it wisely?
With time we became magicians on how to use holidays, weekends and leaves (paid and unpaid). It might seem complicated, but it is actually quite fun. Most often you check the calendar for the free days. Sometimes you do have to wonder how to keep asking your boss for vacation time. We are not two of those people who can happily do nothing. Even if we are not traveling we are still active and run around doing tasks.
If you work for yourself you do not need to manage leaves and holidays, of course. You can give yourself a big leave. If you can work while traveling this is your best option. From my own 1-year-long experience of being my own boss, I can say this way it is much harder to give yourself a break. It is almost impossible to stop working…ever. Following your dreams has a price! I am not complaining, though. It is really cool being able to work from a fancy cafe with an amazing view or from the airport.
Lastly, use the time you have as fully as you can! We managed to tour the island of Malta for just three days. Sometimes we visit a place in Bulgaria for just a day. For half a day we go up in Vitosha Mountain or walk on an eco walkaway. Traveling has too many forms to be left out. Enjoy every minute and every type of trip!
Have a big nice meal, have a good night sleep. If on the next day you do not have energy and desire to travel that’s really bad. See a doctor or read medicine blogs.
Traveling will give you more energy than you can hold. It will be so much that you will spread it around and pass it to other people. Do not waste your time on the couch (we even don’t have one). Take the car/ train/plane/ bus/someone else’s car (I mean hitchhiking, not stealing!) or just walk with your own feet. Let’s do it! Remember:
The crazy one never gets tired! Same goes for the traveler!