Travel is something you’ve always wanted to do, or maybe you’re already a frequent traveler. (I’m able to easily assume that since you’re reading this blog, after all). I’ve heard many people over the past several months say they would love to go here or there someday. My response to them is almost always “you need to make that happen, and now”. However that doesn’t mean you should jump on a plane or hop in the car tomorrow. It means that you already have the thought and the desire, and you owe it to yourself and those close to you to make it happen.
I’m a strong believer that travel is essential. Before I go into detail, I need to clarify: when I say travel, I am not exclusively referring to extravagant, expensive trips to far-flung destinations (although those are good, too). The travel I speak about can be a weekend getaway to a small town B&B an hour away, a long weekend to a vibrant city in another state, or a two-week jaunt through Europe, Asia, or Africa.
Merriam-Webster confirms this (italics mine):
travel noun | trav·el
a. The act of traveling
b. A journey, especially to a distant or unfamiliar place
It doesn’t mention words or phrases like expensive, impossible, without-kids, or to another continent. All that is required to travel is to go to an unfamiliar place. That is essential. Traveling gives you experiences outside of your normal routine that rejuvenate as well as teach you things that you can’t fully grasp through book learning or watching documentaries. Sure, you can read about the Colosseum, watch a documentary on the Berlin Wall, or hear about the habits of exotic animals in Africa, but when you stand in these places your perspective changes and you learn through experience. Experiences teach me far more information that I’ll retain than reading any book can, and traveling is a journey through new experiences.
I’ve been fortunate to have traveled from a young age. However, before I started traveling I’m not sure I would have known that I needed to. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize how valuable/rewarding/
addicting it is until you do it. Then you can’t imagine life without it. I’m not a fan of cliches, but life really is short and you can always find a reason not to take a trip. You need to make it happen, and now is the time.
Now is the time. Start planning your next trip, big or small. If you do have a reason big enough to keep you from traveling this year, now is the time to start planning it, even if you can’t take that trip in the near future. That way, when you find a window of opportunity later on you already know where you want to go, what you want to do, and how you’ll do it, and it’ll seem much less daunting to pull off. In the meantime, plan something small – like that weekend at that artsy town an hour away or craft brewery-heavy region in the hills in a bordering state.
A coworker of mine (who is a literature guru) knew I had been to Ireland many times over the years and would frequently walk by my desk to mention that he’d love to get over to Ireland someday, especially during the Bloomsday festivities surrounding James Joyce in June. Every time he brought it up, I responded with “you need to make that happen, now”. Fast forward to two weeks after the last time I said that, and his flights are booked and he’s on cloud nine. He’s busy with a demanding job, four kids, and plenty of reasons he could use to say ‘not now’, but finally heard me say now is the time.
What is your next destination and when will you make it happen? Comment below or tweet me @TQtraveler, I’d love to hear about it!