When I talk to people about my travels, I always get the same comments, “How did you go there?”, “I wish I could…” etc…..So this post is an answer to those that really want to see the world, but have a myriad of reasons why you don’t. I have traveled to quite a few places in my 34 years, mostly international. Here is my take on it and how you can do it too.
- “I don’t have anyone to go with” – My answer to this is simple. Go alone. It may seem crazy at first, but I did it and I came out just fine. Actually, I met many new people in the process. For example, my first trip abroad was to Hong Kong Fashion Week. There was a flier passed around by my college professor and I couldn’t convince any of my ECU classmates to go. I thought, I’ll just go alone. I called up the trip coordinator and she put me in a room with another young lady that was traveling alone. It was such a great trip, I went with the same company, Fashion Perspective Tours, again the next year to Italy. Only the next time, I convinced a few friends to join me. 🙂 Sometimes you can’t put your life on hold to wait for others to make a move. Nike said it best, Just.Do.It. Nine times out of ten you will not be disappointed. I wouldn’t have seen lots of what I have seen if I would have waited for others.
2. “I don’t have the time” – You have time! You will make time when it is something that you want. Seeing the world is so important. Your life and the life of your family will be enriched by the experience. I never want to look back in my old age and think, “I should have done that or should have gone to see that”. I can honestly say that if I died tomorrow, I have lived a full life and have seen and done more than most of the people that I know. Set a date in the next 12 months and work an adventure into your year. Book it and it will be done 🙂 Half the fun is the countdown and the anticipation.
3. “Where do I start?” – There are many answers to this questions. You can start with a place you always wanted to see like Paris. You can start with a passion for example cooking, skiing, hunting, fishing, fashion, shopping. There are cooking tours to Italy, Spain, France etc…. You can start with the beach and fly to Costa Rica. Or you can start like I did with the first opportunity that I saw( the trip to Hong Kong). You can start with an event like the Kentucky Derby or a Broadway show in NYC. You can join a tour or if you are a brave new traveler, wonder around a new place on your own. I actually think that I will write another full blog post on this in the near future. More to come on this subject.
4. “I don’t have the money to travel” – I hear this a lot. If you waited until you had “enough” money, you may never get anywhere. I am not rich by any means, but I have found a way to visit 8 different countries in my adult life. It has just been an important part of my life to see as much of the world as I can. If you make it a priority, you will find a way to do it. Besides, if I had more money, I would have less time and more bills :).
First of all, travel is not as prohibitively expensive as most people think it is. If you do your research, you can get some really awesome deals. Flights will be your biggest expense, so it would be a good idea to get in a travel rewards program with an airline and/or switch your credit card to a travel points card. There are so many options for hotels from hostels to luxury villas, that you WILL find accommodations that fit into your budget. Of course, new travelers will find it easier to join a tour which will do everything for you. I have done it both ways. I have joined tours and not lifted a finger for anything and I have researched my own trips. I will recommend a few sites below. Also, recently I have joined a travel club that with a membership, gets me the best deals around for places all around the world. I will list that below as well.
http://www.kayak.com (flights, hotels)
http://www.rovia.com/ (flights, hotels, cruises)
Travel Club: Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about this. It is invite only.
Great Tour Companies: Both are wonderful, very professional and fun, fun, fun
http://www.fashionperspectivetours.com/ (Geared toward those that love fashion and shopping)
http://www.goaheadtours.com/ (many tours to many different places, even specialties like cooking etc..)
Other websites that I would recommend checking out:
https://www.airbnb.com/ (skip the hotel and stay at a private apartment in Paris :)) I’ve heard lots of great things about this site, but have not booked through them yet.
http://www.jetsetter.com/ ( great deals on posh hotels and resorts)
Please leave a comment with your suggestions, words of wisdom or questions.
GET OUT AND SEE THE WORLD