…TO TRAVEL or you can go anywhere if you free your mind
The First step is the hardest one
After all these years, I have noticed that many people would like to travel, but… they use too many buts…I think that’s something stemming from the the way humans think. I want this, but…I would do it but…but let’s say it in this way: Everything before but is bullshit. Because if you really want something, why do you think about the reasons why not instead of why yes? Why see the problems when we can see solutions?
I am not saying it’s easy, the first step is always the hardest one and it requires a lot of courage, but if you overcome fear, free your mind and step out of your comfort zone – it will change your entire perception of life. And that’s the real gold, trust me.
So here is my biggest advice: If you want to see the world, stop investing your energy into excuses while you hide behind your computer, grab your balls, pack your bundle and Go.
And if you’re still thinking I am not right and your “buts” are relevant, here you may have my point of view on the most common problems:
I have no one to travel with
So what? Go alone then! You will get the strongest of experiences you cannot even imagine while on the road alone.
When I tell people I travel alone, I usually get the same reactions: And don’t you feel lonely? I really don’t. Practically speaking, I am less lonely than if I journeyed with someone.
When you travel with a friend or in a group, you will never get the chance to dive into foreign cultures deep enough. Because with friends, you are always staying on the safe side of your comfort zone, even in a foreign country. You don’t have a need to speak with strangers – because you have someone to speak with. But when you are all alone, it’s a completely different story. At first, you feel slightly forced to communicate with other people, even if it´s only a short conversation about the weather, which can be transformed into an interesting dialogue in the end. You are also more aware of the things around you. Speaking in metaphors, if you travel with someone you know, you feel comfortable: it´s like you are going about in a box. You can see something through the holes and in general you feel good, but you miss out on a lot. On the other side when you are alone, you are out of the box and you can see all these details you would have never seen.
In addition, you are training yourself in making responsible decisions, improvisation and management. If you forget something, you will bear the consequences. It can be pretty painful sometimes, but trust me: pain is the best of teachers. You will become more experienced and confident in your decisions. On your travels, but also in life in general.
And last but not least, when you travel alone you don’t have to deal with other people. We’ve all been in the situation when a group of friends are fighting where to go. There’s nothing worse than killing your time by discussing what to do and what not to do, because we are all different and if I want to walk next to the Seine with a fresh baguette instead of waiting In the line for the Eiffel tower, there is no space for compromise.
I am not saying you have to be alone all the time! Of course, you can enjoy the company of other fellow travelers as much as you want, but when the moment of making a decision comes, or when you just won´t have a mood for socializing, you are free to do whatever you want to do: because you are there on your own and you don’t have to feel guilty because your ideas are quite different from your friend’s.
I don´t have enough Money.
Seriously. If you really want to travel, money is not a problem. Especially in this world full of opportunities.
You just have to understand one thing: Traveling doesn’t always mean holidays. It’s not about luxury, five stars hotels and drinking cocktails on the beach. If you want to see the world, you have to leave your high expectations behind and be open to new options.
The Internet offers plenty of websites for the community of travelers. Couchsurfing if you want to meet locals and share something together, Blablacar if you want to use the advantage of ride sharing, pay less and travel faster, or Workaway in the case you want to stay somewhere longer, find your place in the local community and help other people.
I named only few options, which use the most, but once you fall inside , you’ll see there is a whole range of opportunities.
Then there is a also the little advantage of traveling alone I haven’t mentioned before. You are making new friends around the world, which also give you an opportunity for your next travels. It’s a circle. As is everything in life.
I am not good at languages.
Yes. I really understand this situation. Communication is one of the most important elements in our life, and you just can’t imagine yourself on the other side of the world without the possibility of speaking. How could you fulfill your basic needs? Buy food? Find a place to stay?
As I told you I understand this fear. My mum can´t speak any other language, but Slovakian. She keeps telling me: “I would like to travel, but I can’t speak English.”
Well, in the recent years, English became a pretty universal language. If you are a native – congratulations — but even if you are not, there is a big chance you can speak English, because we are all learning it in schools. But there are still places on this planet where English hasn’t arrived. So what then? If you can speak more languages, hell yeah! If not, you just have to deal with it somehow.
I did my Erasmus in Spain, where my English was completely useless. All my classes, exams and all the communication going on around me: everything was in Spanish. So I tried to do the best I could by using mainly my gestures and facial expressions. It was hard indeed and at times I felt really stupid that I wanted to add something to a conversation but I just couldn’t find the words…
I have learned a new language – but this doesn’t mean I will understand people everywhere in the world now.
What I want to basically say here is: It doesn’t really matter if you can speak several languages or your mother tongue only, because in a small village in Mongolia, you will always have to use the most universal language of all. Gestures and facial expressions.
(Unless you speak Mongolian ) And of course I don´t want to say learning new languages is not important: it is! But I think the bitter taste of ignorance shouldn’t be an obstacle in your dreams.
I am scared of…
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown” (H.P. Lovecraft)
We all have different kinds of fears, but they shouldn’t stop us from following our dreams. People ask me: „Aren’t you scared of flying? Aren’t you scared of staying in others’ people houses? Aren’t you scared that something bad will happen to you?“
People please, you can find danger anywhere. It can be on the other side of the world, but it can watch you from the corner of your room insidiously. Of course we feel more safe at home. It’s because we need some kind of security from familiarity, which is pretty hard to achieve in the unknown world.
A very important thing is also your point of view. Because the Unknown doesn’t have to mean bad. It’s something behind the door and there is no reason to be stressed out about it: you can face it when you get there, but you have to open it first.
They say If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, right? So the only advice I can give you is simple. Try to focus on your fear and overcome it. Otherwise you will be always held in place by invisible chains of „something can happen“. Remember, something can always happen and it doesn’t matter where.
Good luck 🙂