Life is full of excuses. “I forgot.” “I’ll do it later.” “The dog ate my homework.” You all know the most common ones.
But people also make excuses when it comes to traveling. Or, more precisely, when it comes to NOT traveling.
Simply put, though, these excuses are dumb. Really dumb.
Unless you want to live a life full of regret, you shouldn’t live a life full of excuses.
Dumb Reasons People Don’t Travel
Here are the most common dumb excuses people give for not traveling, along with the reasons they shouldn’t be used as excuses at all:
“I can’t afford it.”
One of my boyfriend’s friends once told me that “travel is for old, rich people.”
Well, now, that’s just not true at all. I am neither old, nor rich. In fact, I’m pretty much the opposite of old and rich at this point in my life. But that has never stopped me from traveling.
Travel absolutely does not have to be expensive if you’re smart about it. While I cannot afford to travel indefinitely or for great lengths of time, I still find ways to make my travel dreams reality.
It may mean saving up for months or years for an expensive trip (do you know how far $50 a week can go in 6 months?), or it may mean choosing a destination that isn’t going to cost me an arm or leg (for example, you can live in Southeast Asia easily for $30 a day).
No matter what your income is, you CAN find ways to travel.
“I don’t have enough time.”
In America especially, time is money. Many people only have two or three weeks of vacation time each year, and don’t believe in taking more. Then you add in family, friends and hobbies, and it begins to seem impressive that anyone can even remember what day it is, let alone find time to plan a vacation.
But if travel is something you really want to do, you can MAKE time. You can make the best use of your vacation days (no matter how few they number) by planning ahead. Plan a vacation around a holiday so you use up less of that precious time off.
Plan trips that are a bit closer to home. Or, go all out and plan an epic vacation to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go so that you have something great to look forward to.
Just remember that having a career or family or both doesn’t mean you’re too busy to travel. We all need a break sometimes, and making time to fit one in is important.
“I hate flying.”
Who says you have to fly to travel? Even if you’re going overseas, there are other options – like taking a ship. Believe it or not, people traveled long before there were cars or airplanes.
If you don’t have the time to take a cruise across the Atlantic, why not travel closer to home? Cars, trains and buses abound in most countries, and you really don’t have to go thousands of miles away to say you’ve traveled. Adventures can be had both on the other side of the world, or on the other side of town.
Pick a destination, and then do some research on ways to get there that don’t involve air travel. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at your options.
“I have no one to travel with.”
It may come as a shock, but not everyone has dreams of travel. In fact, some people are perfectly content living in the same town their whole lives and never leaving it.
There’s nothing wrong with this. Unless, of course, your parents or spouse or friends fall into this category when you don’t. Then it can become frustrating.
But, just remember that there’s no rule saying you have to travel with someone. Hit the road solo! Have an adventure on your own! Or, if that idea sounds even more terrifying to you than never leaving your hometown, look into group travel.
Plenty of travel companies exist out there that cater to all sorts of age groups and interests. Find one that fits your style and sign up. You’ll be surrounded by other travelers who actually WANT to be there.
Then you can go home and tell the non-travelers in your life all about what they missed out on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll convert a few of them and have travel partners in the future.
Terrorism. Corruption. Plane crashes. Crazy taxi drivers. Pickpockets.
Yes, there’s a lot to be afraid of in the world, and travelers sometimes do come across dangerous situations away from home.
But do you know what one of the most dangerous activities of all is? Simply driving to work every day.
Saying travel is dangerous is a cop-out. It’s like saying “life is dangerous.” But are you going to stop living just to ensure that you stay safe? … I didn’t think so.
As long as you travel smartly and don’t purposefully put yourself in potentially dangerous situations, then travel doesn’t have to be any more dangerous than playing football or taking a jog in the park.
Do your homework, find out what to avoid, and then don’t stress about it.
“There will be time for travel later.”
People often have very specific ideas about the chronology their lives are supposed to take. As an American, you are supposed to go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, and then have 2.5 kids.
You’re supposed to work for 30 years, and then, if you haven’t keeled over from heart disease or cancer, then maybe you can travel during retirement.
Right? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?
Well, it’s load of crap. Putting off travel until “later” in life only makes it more of a dream. Every year you put it off pulls you further and further away from it, making it less likely that it’ll ever happen.
I mean, do you really think you’re going to go hike the Inca Trail or go rock climbing in Thailand when you’re in your 60s? Will you want to put up with a 12-hour flight to New Zealand or young backpackers at all the guest houses once you hit retirement? Probably not.
So don’t use this excuse. If you want to travel now, then travel now. Simple at that.
In the end, my point is this: Don’t make excuses.
If you really want to travel, then find a way to make it happen. There are thousands of people out there right now casting aside the “expected” course of life in order to enjoy a life of travel.
They’re not making excuses about time or money or danger. They’re just doing it.
While a lifestyle of perpetual travel isn’t for everyone, everyone should be able to fit travel in somewhere.
So stop with the excuses. Just travel already. I promise you won’t regret it.
Amanda is a 20-something college grad with a journalism degree under her belt, which she plans to use to rid the world of bad grammar and “there, their, they’re” confusion. Amanda can usually be found dreaming of her next travel adventure, whether around the globe or around the corner. Follow her as she gets swept away in travel on her blog, A Dangerous Business.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.