This post is part of 30 Ways in 30 days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World. This series seeks to give you the practical, real world steps you need to take to get from wherever you are, to exactly where you want to be– traveling the world and living the lifestyle you want.
Everything is arranged. You’re ready to go. After so much planning, saving, compromise, research, and imaging what will be, it’s finally here. The big fat leap.
It’ll never be the same as the first time. You’ll be giddy. You’ll get sick from the change in food and schedule. You’ll be frustrated and tired. You’ll feel like you’re floating above yourself, aware of the moment. You’ll be overwhelmed and amazed. You’ll be intimidated by customs you don’t know and navigating a language you don’t speak.
You’ll be freaking traveling the world. Holy crap.
Later, you might look back at this as best time of your life. But as you travel, you’ll learn what most travelers conclude: the experience is almost as much about your attitude as where you are. You’ll only change as much as you let yourself. Those things back home that made you a little shy or easily frustrated or quick to make friends– you packed those with you too.
There’s a lot of advice out there about how best to travel or how to blend in or get the most from each day. However I’m a strong believer that there is no best way to travel. My best advice is to try everything, until you don’t want to. Push yourself, but don’t make it torture. Have fun. Laugh. Be yourself.
If you don’t love it, what’s the point?
If that means changing plans, skipping destinations, splurging on a bed with high-thread-count sheets from time to time– don’t worry that you’re not doing it right. Sure there are travelers who live on $4 a day or spend six months learning a language spoken only by 200 people. There are travelers who have seen more or are better read or have a distinct ability to make everything they’ve done sound way more cool. But are they better travelers? I don’t buy it. We’re all out there. Any distinctions are the constructs of travelers trying to elevate themselves above the rabble. We’re all tourists. Even the most experienced traveler is just another clumsy foreigner in a new land.
The only thing you have to worry about right now is enjoying it.
Sometimes that will be hard. Traveling can be exhausting. Getting lost annoying. Strange food disgusting. But if you can laugh it off and chalk it up as part of the big adventure, you can officially call yourself a traveler.
Don’t forget to send me a postcard.
Author’s Note: This concludes the 30 Days series. If you have a question or problem that wasn’t addressed by the series, I still want to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment or email me directly at email@example.com. In the next few weeks I’ll be putting this series into an ebook, along with some bonus materials and answers to any other questions you may have. (And if I don’t have the answer, I’m very good at connecting people with those who do). I hope this series was helpful! And I’m not joking about those postcards.
pic: untitled blue