At age 26, I wouldn’t call myself a world traveler but I would call myself an experienced traveler. Born and raised in the US, I have traveled all over North America, been to several countries in Europe and most of the Caribbean. I have yet to explore Asia, Africa, Australia or most of the land in between but it is not from a lack of desire.
To pack 4 large bags ($200 in bag fees), fly halfway around the world (coach will only cost one arm please) and stay in lush hotels (the Holiday Inn in Venice, Austria was posh, I can’t imagine the Ritz), you pretty much have to have a large amount of disposable income or be traveling for work (on company dime). Traveling for me has been based on good deals, cheap fares or trips I have just been lucky enough to go on and not pay for.
If you’re anything like me, you want more and more travel and you’re willing to do almost anything to be able to do it! You want to be able to travel the back roads of China, explore Thailand, go down under in Australia and backpack Europe (maybe even check out a hostel). But before we get too far into the wants and desires of dreamy destinations, let’s look at the reality.
You’re broke, you barely make enough to cover your bills, let alone enough to dream about whisking off to some country halfway around the world. You have responsibilities, your family wants you to go to college, get a good paying job, work, work, work.
By this point you throw your dreams, hopes, wants, desires out the window and try to please everyone else BUT yourself. Alternatively, you may already be a thirty-something and have already loaded yourself down with school loan debt and numerous other responsibilities that creep up on you.
For some reason this sounds familiar… Oh yeah, I’ve done it. Let me tell you where it got me.
I have a great paying job (I bust my ass from 7am to 6pm, Monday thru Friday, with the occasional work trip on weekends), $40,000 in school loans (and that’s cheap!), a loving family (would never give that up) and a ridiculous burning desire in my gut to say SCREW all of it! I want to see the world and I don’t want to work for the next 45 years so that when I retire, I will finally have the chance, and the money to do so. I will most likely be in a wheelchair, may not be able to fly, may not have use of half my body because of a stroke I had 5 years ago, oh and let me be really morbid for a moment, I may not be alive. So here I worked for 45 years to achieve a goal I never had the opportunity to accomplish.
Stop reading this for a second and do me a favor, think about the oldest living person you know and the next time you talk to them ask the following: “What is the number one thing you regret not doing when you were younger?” Obviously this is different for everyone but the point is that everyone has desires that went unfulfilled for various reasons. Now it may be too late and they have the pleasure of living with those regrets day in and day out.
Unfortunately, and fortunately, I learned what those burning desires really feel like when you know that time is limited (in my case it was in 4 hours). In four long hours, while being held hostage against my will, I learned how much you regret not doing the things you want. I felt the sheer anger and resentment you feel for squandering your deepest desires. If I can give you an analogy, the feeling is similar to putting a magnifying glass up to the sun to start a fire and it happens that fast.
So what? How can I change it? Do you need to almost die to get to the point I got? (I hope not!?!)
I’m not saying screw it, drop everything and run out on your responsibilities. Please be clear, that is the worst thing you can do and it will only make matters worse. No, look at “CG’s” very first post, “ONE STEP AT A TIME.”
I first had to realize that if there is any time to travel in your life, it is while you are young. It is when you are fit and healthy and able to run over ruins, climb mountains, or run for the train because you took too long trying to get the perfect picture. That is the time to travel! When you’re 65 sitting in a chair because the left-hand side of your body won’t move (damn stroke), you’ll be full of memories, pictures, surrounded by little things from all over the world. You’ll have stories to tell for years or maybe a simple video from that time you decided to sit with the copper statue in the middle of Prague making ridiculous faces at the camera.
This is all possible; you can make this work, no matter your age. If traveling is your desire, then what are you waiting for? We are embarking on that journey right now and plan to show you every step we take in getting there. We will explain how to do it financially, physically, mentally and without breaking the bank or neglecting your responsibilities.