Traveling is one of the biggest aspirations for millennials, but how many of us actually do it? Yeah, we all have that one friend who has been to 17 countries and lived in six of them, but most of us aren’t seeing even a quarter of places that we want to. So what gives?
Well, we do have a lot of excuses, but none of them are good ones. In 2018, we have no reason not to travel if we want to. Here’s why none of your excuses hold any weight come January.
It’s NOT too expensive.
OK, I know money is a big factor in traveling. Not having it is probably the first excuse that we use. I won’t lie to you, traveling can get really expensive, and it’s not like we’re drowning in money. Given that the cost of college has risen almost 300 percent in the last two decades, you’re probably struggling with a little debt right now too. I was right after graduating– I’d prioritized living independently almost any other obligation. So I thought traveling was something I could do after retirement.
But traveling doesn’t have to break your bank. There are tons of guides on how to travel for cheap. Pay attention to flight deals, and buy at the right time. That usually means January, depending on where you want to go, so hurry up!
You’re allowed to take time off work.
Yes, you have work. We all have work. But ‘work’ shouldn’t be your excuse not to travel. ‘Work’ gives vacation days to people so they can travel… so take it. Millennials are notorious for not taking a vacation. We feel an intense shame for missing a couple days at the office. Some companies are forcing employees to take a break, not only because it’s good for you, but because it makes you much better employees in the long run.
But even if you don’t have a job with vacation time, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. Plenty of jobs can be done remotely in this day and age. Really, in-flight Wi-Fi is becoming so standard that you can do your work on the plane. You can make money anywhere, so don’t say that you have to be at work for the next 365 days, nonnegotiable because it just isn’t true.
You can take time away from your relationships—with people and pets (yes, someone out there will take care of your dog).
You’re always going to have important people in your life. You can’t hold back your life aspirations because it might inconvenience others. If your dream trip involves you being gone for long enough that it’d actually put a strain on your relationship, then you can still figure out how to make it work. Better yet, invite them to come with!
You can’t let this be an excuse for 2018 because then it’ll still be your excuse for 2030. I had a lot of reasons to stay in my hometown: my family, my best friends, a boyfriend… But ultimately I realized that I’d never leave my hometown if I let that hold me back.If you want to travel, you’re going to have to be OK with some distance for a little while. You can always come back home. That’s why it’s home.
You can’t let fear get in the way of you living life.
Traveling is scary. Even if you’re not leaving your country, being somewhere foreign and not having your bearings is unsettling. There’s comfort in the familiar, and traveling pushes you out of your element.
Despite three years of college Spanish, I’m fairly certain your average Texan toddler could hold a conversation in Spanish better than I can. I was petrified of going to Spain and being unable to communicate even the most basic needs. And I embarrassed myself. A lot. I repeated the same phrases over and over again, not realizing until later that I was saying the absolutely wrong thing. But I also gained a lot of self confidence, because if you can be self-sufficient in a foreign country, you can do it anywhere.
It’s fine if you’re just the type of person who doesn’t want to leave their bubble, but if you’re holding back until you’re “ready,” you need to push yourself. You’re never going to be fully “ready”. That doesn’t mean book the next flight to Thailand if you’ve got crippling anxiety, but start working towards some smaller goals. Find a native speaker to practice your language skills with, travel to a different state, and remember to breathe! You can do this. Worst case scenario, familiar is only a click or a phone call away in this day and age. The longest possible flight you could have is 17 hours— not even a day away from home!
Pushing your boundaries is scary, but don’t let it stop you from seeing the world! Especially now, with the technology and connectivity that we have at our fingertips, anyone can travel if they want to. It might take some time (maybe this is just a head start on your 2019 or 2020 dream), but it’s important to take that first step.