Take a Breath, This is Happening: Day 30 of 30w30d

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.

30 ways in 30 days, taking the plunge, the end, around the world trip

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 christine.gilbert@gmail.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

24 Comments

  1. Pingback: 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World | AlmostFearless.com

  2. I like traveling, especially where you settle in a place for at least a month before moving on. I like to spend more time exploring a location than traveling between locations.
    .-= Gordie Rogers´s last blog ..Forgiveness Is Selfish. =-.

  3. I don’t why but when I was arriving to Australia with the hubby. I was shocked with excitement and so proud of myself beyond belief. Australia is a first world country and all, but just traveling from NY to Aussie had so much significance for me.
    .-= Carolina´s last blog ..How to Improve your Nutrition, the Easy Way =-.

  4. Oh I love this post! You are right and I have learnt first hand that no matter how perfect you plan your trip to be, there’s always room for the unexpected. I just laugh and move on instead of letting it upset me :)
    .-= AudMraz´s last blog .."There Are Places I Remember …" =-.

  5. To me traveling is really about the ‘throw-away-your-watch’ type of freedom, the ‘what-the-hell-let’s-go-down-this-street’ type of adventure, and a desire to see what lives are like outside your comfort zone. Life, on the other hand, is about the stories you can tell people (or just remind yourself of), and the way you can relate a moment or an image to a past experience. That’s what makes you a good friend, a good mom, a good dad, uncle, aunt, grandpa, grandma, etc. I don’t believe there is any such thing as winners or losers in this game, it’s the day-to-day journey that counts. Conversation is the key to making that journey fun. Conversation and generosity are what … if anything … it’s all about.

    … unfortunately, it’s normally only when you get back to your boring life of cubicles, meetings, paying mortgages and car loans that it really sinks in how damn cool the traveling part of your life was! :(

    Again Christine, I look forward to EVERY SINGLE one of your posts. You’re a brilliant writer.

  6. I will miss this series – sometimes I’d try to guess what you’d say or the angle you’d take and everytime I read something I didn’t expect or consider. Thanks for your original writing and perspective. This winter is my time to hunker down and see what’s up for the spring. In the meantime I will “live as if”…as if I’m leaving for a big trip, with all the saving, planning and gathering of gear as needed. Then I’ll be ready if the opportunity presents itself. Looking forward to your regularly scheduled program!
    .-= Robyn´s last blog ..Getting Good At Letting Go =-.

  7. So glad you did this series! It addressed a lot of my fears and questions about how to do long-term travel, so thanks for taking the time to put this together.

    Thank you for mentioning that there is not one right way to travel. So many people think backpacking and roughing it are the only way to go, and that you’re a sellout if you do otherwise. I think that is totally off base, so I am glad to see that you mentioned that there is nothing wrong with sometimes forking out extra dough to enjoy a nice hotel!
    .-= Emily @ Maiden Voyage´s last blog ..Maiden Voyage Must-Read Monday =-.

  8. Laura Giliberti

    hiya
    Good job.
    Got a situation for you, but its too late I guess to have it posted.
    I am the mother of a 13 year old daughter, I share custody of this little darling, with her dad, my ex.
    we do the ‘every other day ‘thing…I couldnt take off for more than 2 weeks, even if DIDNT have a great job, great salary and a great pension that will I can access in exactly 6.5 years ( when said daughter will be off to University and I will be FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to leave) but hey, whos counting…
    anyway, my situation is not a cross, its a choice…but its a tough slog sometimes, when I really rather be anywhere but HERE.
    Frustrated,by travelling in fits and spurts, to say the least.
    L

  9. Laura,

    It sounds like you’ll be in a great situation in 6.5 years… hang in there and enjoy your daughter! And like you said, it’s a choice, so embrace it. I’d start planning that first year of travel now though 😉

  10. Great series Christina. I really enjoyed this post. It fits so well with a post I just wrote about everything that frustrates me about Croatia, but how we are adjusting and learning to laugh at life more. Its nice to feel like part of a community knowing that there are so many other travelers out there experiencing things similar to you.
    .-= Pond Jumpers: Croatia´s last blog ..we just have to laugh (if we aren’t crying) =-.

  11. I’ve got a lot more exploring of these posts to do, but I wanted to post a congratulatory comment and to tell you that I so admire what you are doing here.

    Here’s what leaped out at me from this post:

    “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.”

    I think you are absolutely right – you always take yourself with you, but you also always have the opportunity to change and grow. And I’ll tell you right now that one thing that can actually make travel even more transformational is when you travel with kids because you see the world not only through your own eyes, but through theirs. Here’s what I wrote after 13 months on the road with my son:

    “Travel may be less glamorous, more work-intensive, and sometimes more costly with children than without, but it is also more deliberate and meaningful. At the outset, I flattered myself that I was going to show Tommy the world and teach him to love travel, but in hindsight I’m humbled to realize that he did these things for me. How? By helping me to focus, always, on what was in front of me.”

    You’re doing great work here – and I look forward to seeing how it grows and changes in the future as you do.
    .-= Mara´s last blog ..Mondays are for dreaming: Stoke Newington =-.

  12. I have enjoyed this series very much, Christine. Now that it’s complete, I need to go back and reread it all again. And especially thank you for writing this:

    “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.”

    Yes.
    .-= Gray´s last blog ..Restaurant Review: Cafe Bistro Sauce =-.

  13. Like Carrie, I haven’t commented often but really enjoyed the posts. Very inspiring series. Am looking forward to read the ebook!

    In this entry, I especially liked this part: “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.”

    So true. And I fully believe that every place we live in and visit affects us and changes us in some or many ways, both consciously and uncounsciously. But most of all, it’s up to ourselves if we want and are willing to change.
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Music That Makes Me Happy: Tourbillon =-.

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  15. Hi Christine,
    As others have mentioned this is a great series with great content and unique angles. I wish you luck in turning it into an ebook. We have mentioned your site to multiple travelers here in the Turkey that we have met in hostels. One couple will be returning to the States in two months and was anxious about getting jobs upon their return. The one thing I would have added to that post was that I would recommend thinking through what goals and accomplishments you want to be able articulate on a resume after an extended trip. And then, much as you would with a job, you have to work to realize them. Keeping a blog, doing a podcast or staying connected to contacts in your industry is not always easy, but I hope it will make our return to the job market in 11 months that much smoother.
    .-= Keith´s last blog ..Selçuk and a Mediterranean Blue Cruise =-.

  16. Hi Christine,

    I guess I’ve been a “lurker” on your blog, reading faithfully but yet to comment… I just wanted to let you know what a comfort your posts have been to me, particularly this 30-day series. My husband and I are about to embark on an 8-month RTW adventure, and every time I have a mini panic attack, I turn to your site for reassurance that this really can be done! So thanks for everything you do and keep the posts coming!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..So What’s the Plan, Stan? =-.

  17. Christine this is perfect timing! I leave the day after tomorrow and have no idea when I’ll be back.
    I love your observation about packing your traits – shyness, etc. At the same time, being in a new place where nobody knows who you are provides the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself to grow and develop – to be who you want to be.
    .-= Scott ´s last blog ..What I’ll bring =-.

  18. Hi Christine,
    I have such a DEEP longing to VENTURE out… I backpacked to so many places when i was younger.. now I am 34 and I got that “fever” to go again.. NOW.. i am scared… I want to go.. but dont really wish to do so alone again…
    How do I go about finding an adventurous partner to travel with?
    The longer I take to go.. a little piece of me dies.
    Any advice?
    Cheers,
    Rach.

  19. Pingback: Apples and Porsches » Blog Archive » Wholestyle on the Web: Week of 10/23/09

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