I was having a lovely farewell coffee and chat with one of my good friends the other day, and we were talking about traveling, and she said she doesn’t think she’ll be going anywhere soon, because she needs an excuse to. That triggered me to wonder why we feel the need to have an excuse to leave our comfort zone and travel. We can’t go to London unless we’re visiting a friend there. We can’t go to New York City unless we’re on a business trip. We can’t go to Paris unless we’re on a honeymoon. Why is there this need to say that we can’t go somewhere unless we have an excuse?
I fit into this category too. After never taking any family trips as a kid, the only way I could finally get to Europe was when I studied abroad, which was an excuse my parents finally went along with. I only ended up going back the next two times because I won a contest. Since then, I haven’t gone anywhere. There’s been no excuse to until now; grad school pulled me back over to London, which I wasn’t able to do without it. And why is that, I wonder… Money. Money is what stops many of us from traveling without an excuse.
If we could all be trust fund babies or be given free trips all the time, we wouldn’t have to find an excuse to travel. We’d have unlimited resources to be able to explore the world. Money stops us from bypassing the excuse and making a trip happen. Not everyone can afford to buy plane tickets or stay in resorts. It’s easier to use the fact that you have a friend or family member living in another country to give you the drive to go visit them. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many of us poorer souls.
So, how do we overcome this? We have to start putting ourselves into a mindset that we don’t need to have a reason to travel. The reason is that you want to explore a part of the world and you should go do that. Yes, money sucks and we don’t all have enough of it to go make travel a part of our realities. But people do it anyways, and that’s what’s amazing to me. There are people who bought a one-way plane ticket and hitchhiked their way across Europe or Asia, doing odd jobs and not caring that they were broke. It’s possible, and I hope to put aside my fear on the issue and travel this way as well. So I challenge you to get rid of the excuses and reasons you need to be able to go, and to just go!