How To Travel More
“Someday I want to travel more.”
Have you ever said some version of that statement? I know I have. And I’ve had a lot of people say that to me after hearing about my travels.
It is a very dangerous sentiment. It is something we do with a lot of the big goals we have for our lives. We put them off to some indefinite point in the future.
The biggest problem with that is that the future does not exist.
Yes, Right Now
This does not mean I recommend that you drop everything you are doing at this very moment and drive to the airport to take the next flight out of town. Though that would be pretty cool.
No, what I recommend is that you decide right now that you are going to travel. Put a date on it. Then pick a destination. Stop dreaming. Start doing.
When and where are you going to go?
Okay I understand I may have already lost many of you because you believe that you can not afford to go anywhere or that you do not have the time for a vacation. If that is you please stick with me a bit longer. Deal?
I do understand where you are coming from because I spent much of my life thinking that way. The desire to travel has always been in me but right next to it was the belief that I needed to get rich first. That way I would have the money and the time.
This thinking keeps us on the work, sleep, repeat, treadmill.
What I’ve learned is that an internal shift in thinking needs to be made. But of course this is easier said than done. Right? Wrong.
It is easy. But it all comes down to approach.
People often make the mistake of attempting giant leaps when it comes to changing their life. This is the downfall of many New Year’s resolutions. We think that because it is a new year we can suddenly eat completely different or exercise like a pro athlete.
True change comes through taking small steps in a new direction.
So if you are someone who desires to travel and truly wants to learn how to travel more or take a big vacation to the destination of your dreams then you’ll want to begin to take small steps in that direction. This can begin right now right where you are.
At the core of true travel, life changing travel, is curiosity
Much like creativity, curiosity is something we are all born with but over time it is either suppressed or withers away due to lack of use.
Believe me, if you want to travel and see the world you are a curious person because curiosity is at the heart of your travel desire.
Let’s say you’ve always wanted to go to Paris. This is because you are curious about the city. You’ve seen it in movies, read about it in books, and you want to know what it is like to experience it for yourself.
You want to walk the streets of Paris, eat of the food, smell the air, sit on the banks of the Seine and drink French wine, just like the characters in those movies and books. Those are nice but you want to know for yourself.
This is curiosity.
I bring this up because curiosity can be a very powerful driving force if you let it. Chances are your curiosity muscles are a bit weak from lack of use and because of this they do not give you the strength needed to take the risks needed in order to travel more often.
Risk is what has given curiosity a bad name. I am sure you’ve heard all your life what curiosity did to the cat. I believe that is one of the worst sayings that we subject our kids to. Yes curiosity does come with risks that can lead to pain, injury, or worse but it is easy to forget that so many of the things you enjoy in life are a product of someone’s curiosity.
Inventions, scientific discoveries, and technology are all the products of people being curious.
And I believe the rewards of a curious life far outweigh the risks. Of course there are various levels of curiosity and you are smart enough to know what curiosities come with too much risk. I for example am very curious about North Korea but actually going there is a risk I am not willing to take.
Wherever you are, however much money you have, and no matter how little time you feel you have you can begin to flex and develop your curiosity and discover amazing things.
The challenge is that wherever we call home quickly becomes ordinary. But ordinary and extraordinary are two sides of the same coin. Just think of those millions of people who live in Paris. For most of them the city has become ordinary but you and I might find just about everything in Paris extraordinary.
No matter where you live in the world there are people who would be amazed by it.
So if you feel that travel is not possible for you anytime soon you must awaken your curiosity and become a traveler where you are. This is done by becoming curious about your home city, county, or state. Through this you will begin to see your home in a new way.
To do this first start with the obvious, the nearest tourist attractions. Need some help? Open TripAdvisor.com and search for your city. Then look under “attractions” to find a list of the top destinations in your area. This is a good place to start and you just might discover some places you didn’t know existed.
Now use that list and be a traveler in your own hometown. Be sure to head out with the mentality of a visitor or a tourist. Bring your camera. Update Facebook about your visit. Buy some souvenirs. Have fun playing tourist in your own backyard.
Okay so maybe you have been there and done that when it comes to tourist attractions around you. Another great way to find hidden gems in your own area is with GeoCaching.com.
If you have a smartphone you have all you need to begin hunting for hidden containers all around you. Sorry to say these containers do not have any treasure in them but they are often hidden in places you’ve never been before. GeoCaching can be a great way to find parks and historical spots you never knew were right around the corner.
These are the types of small steps that you can take which will lead to a life of travel. And remember that goal we started with? To travel more. If you do these little things and visit places near you then you are indeed traveling. That means you’ve already accomplished your goal of traveling more.
But if you are like me when you say “I want to travel more,” what you really mean is you want to get out and see the world. Visit places like London, Bangladesh, or Tokyo and everywhere in between. Such desires can make the idea of going to tourist attractions a few miles from home seem boring. Not so.
This approach begins to strengthen your curiosity. You will start to think like a traveler and get even more excited about the possibility of travel. Because of this you will start to discover the means and ways of going further.
Start at home and keep expanding and you’ll continue to find a way to make your biggest travel dreams come true. Your comfort zone will continue to grow and before you know it you’ll be on the top level of the Eiffel Tower looking over the city of Paris.
The time to travel is now.
The destination and the distance is not important. Like anything you want to get better at you need practice. Travel is no different.
So where are you going to go first? In the comments please share with me the number one travel attraction closest to where you live. I look forward to hearing about it.