“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.”… Paul Theroux
There are days I hate my job … not because of the challenges or the people or even the waking up in yet another hotel room but just the fact that I’ve had to make this grand bargain with myself. Real life gets in the way of your dreams … yet without going through your real life, your dreams are just a compilation of paper tigers. I allowed myself to get swept away by this tide of reading specs, coworker drama, managing staff and other random nonsense. There were so many times I wanted to take my laptop and randomly smash someone in the head. We all have these times. It helps when I sit at the hotel and reset while writing a blog.
One thing about writing a travel blog is primarily a selfish and self entitled endeavour. I correspond with many travel bloggers online and participate on a couple travel forums, and in those conversations, I’ve come to realize a couple things about the majority of people who want to but don’t venture out on their own into the world.
- If not now, when?
- Procrastination is like eating a souffle – it tastes so great, yet it’s just filled with hot air and nothing. People often come up with great ideas and then do nothing about it. Often, while drinking with friends, we come up with good ideas to go somewhere new and see something new sometime, but you know what that means, right? It means, it usually means never. That’s just the harsh reality. If someone was truly passionate about something, then they wouldn’t hold it off until some random day in the future at some point.
- It’s really easy to think of excuses for not getting anything done. I wanted to start a personal travel blog in early-2003 but I kept on putting it off. Why? Because I would tell myself that I didn’t understand HTML, PHP and other obscure programming languages. I used many other excuses for 3 years, then one day it hit me, “Just open up an account on an online forum and type … the rest will play out naturally”
- Stop creating excuses. It’s foolish. Your excuses are always worse than actually doing what you want to do. There will always be more reasons why you can’t do something than why you can. I can spew about 15 other cliches off the top of my head about this.
- You want to go to Antarctica, Australia, Himalayas or down the street. Same difference! One just requires slightly more planning than the other.
- Are you really that stretched to the limit that you can’t work on projects that interest you? If you’re really that busy, then you should be super rich or super successful and wouldn’t have anything blocking your way to your goals.
- I don’t want to pass judgment on those with kids and super busy lives – those are choices that have been made. However, with those choices, it naturally puts a slight damper on travelling – but only a slight damper. There are tons of families who travel together and make choices to allow that to happen. I’m just saying that it could be done and you can find the time.
- Every new place will have cultural differences, different food, new languages, crazy drivers and a million other different things.
- Aren’t you travelling for the differences? Why complain about it or allow those differences to stop you from going somewhere new? Paradoxical, it is!
- How much money is enough money? Is there ever enough? I’m sure billionaires still think they don’t have enough. Seriously!!! Enough is a state of mind, not a state of your bank account.
- I typically find that it’s less about money and more about ignorance. It’s not so much that people don’t have the money to travel, even in these hard economic times, but it has more to do with cultural ignorance, as in “not knowing about other cultures” and not “the French, Americans, Trinidadians are ignorant buffoons.”
- So?!?! You will always find that you’re your own best travelling companion.
- People have a variety of hangups about travelling alone … (as do I .. Trinidadians are naturally in a crowd, so imagine how tough it is, for me to travel alone), here are some fears about travelling alone
- looking lonely to others
- not being able to share the experience.
- Serious illness
- Fear of being lonely
- Getting wallet/pport/etc. stolen w/no support
- Getting scammed by crafty businessfolk who prey on “tourist-looking” peeps.
- Getting lost. Having to figure out an unfamiliar place on my own is nerve-wracking.
- I still get nervous when traveling alone. I’m not afraid but I am nervous. It’s not for my safety as I trust most people and I’m careful. I’m not anxious about getting lonely because I’m quite capable of starting conversations. I don’t worry about sharing the experience because I can write about it and share almost in real time and have my people with me always 😀
- Use the appropriate tactics when traveling alone.
- Plan your time carefully.
- I use my project management skills and start with the deadline and back up each step of the way along a time line – with contingency built in for the unexpected – to know my starting time.
- I have also established a specific place for documents every time I travel and developed the habit of using it.
- Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.