“I can’t. I just can’t.”
“It’s not possible.”
“I have too many obligations.”
“My boss won’t let me. It’s pointless even asking.’’
I’ve heard these words so many times when it comes to going on a solo trip to a foreign country. To be honest, I’ve been one of those voices telling my own friends that it’s was not possible. And if it wasn’t for one of my best friends, I would have probably still been trapped in that same situation.
If you’re interested into breaking out of the ordinary and chasing your dreams, this article is for you.
In today’s conventional society we are faced with a lot of structure and expectations. We’ve been raised to believe that we work from goal to goal.
After the first years of our childhood, we’re expected to go to school. Before you know it, you’ve got to choose what you want to do with your life and you’re starting a new job to pay for university or get a mortgage.
You can fill in the rest, it only gets more serious from there.
I always wondered why so many of us do the same thing as everyone else, myself included. In the end I just settled with the answer that we are humans that are naturally inclined to self-preservation and reproduction (and unfortunately we’re not looking for a mating partner overseas).
That drive for comfort, combined with our ability to adapt to our environment and what we see around us, prevents us from pursuing change. We’d rather stay happy with the current situation, not often consciously choosing to, but merely out of ignorance.
And therein lies a huge opportunity to enlighten yourself with the world of possibilities. For those that realize they could end up a little uncomfortable choosing a pretty standard life, merely because of a lack of exposure, please read on.
I understand perfectly well that everyone lives in a society with a lot of commonalities, such as your family, your friends and other people you care about and might need you for whatever reason. Most of us also have a job and, self-employed or not, it often comes with location-specific restrictions.
Many of us are totally fine with that situation, since it gives us a certain feeling of safety. Complete safety is in fact an illusion — but that’s a matter for a different time.
Anyways, all these obligations make every single person less likely to explore their dreams. And somewhere deep down, we still dream every day.
We all know the ‘’if I won the lottery tomorrow I would..’’ stories. Or commiserate that if the situation would be just a little different then possibilities would arise.
What if we started to dream consciously again, right now?
What if we changed the word ‘difficult’ into ‘challenging’?
Because in every one of us lies a person that wants to jump away from this imaginary wall he or she feels backed up against, instead of facing it.
And everyone has the strength to do that, even if they don’t think so. Dreams are there to come true and now is the time to live them!
Apart from social- and work-related challenges there can also be many others. We can feel that we don’t have the time, the money, nor the energy to go on a trip. Whatever age you are, at least one of those three things likely resonates.
If you don’t have the money, I would love to invite you to start exploring your opportunities in sustainable travel, because we all know you can work while traveling.
If you don’t have the time, then the chance that you’ll have it in the future is most likely nothing more than a total unknown. We can all wait for a certain magical event to happen, but one of the number one regrets of older people is that they waited for something that never came.
Speaking about older people, those are the ones who usually don’t have the energy anymore and there’s not much you can do about it (except for still trying but there’s a limit).
My point is: there’s no perfect time to go and explore but we can learn from lessons of earlier generations. The earlier in your life you go on a solo trip, the earlier you can receive the gift of this beautiful experience. You need to step out of your comfort zone and jump into the deep end– and I don’t know anyone who didn’t enjoy the ride.
You have the opportunity to learn so much more about the world, cultures, people and most importantly, yourself. The sooner you go, the sooner you’ll be able to change your life afterwards, if you feel so inspired.
Hopefully you’ve gotten the see a bit better that there are always opportunities. All travellers have had the challenges of dealing with family, friends and work. We’ve all been there and you can find a ton of resources by people that have dealt with such obstacles before.
In the end, you’ll see that if your friends and family truly love you, they will accept your decisions to do something purely for yourself. And when you communicate your trip well with your boss without specifically asking for permission, often you’ll get the green light.
I invite all of you to feel as free as you can be and as untethered as possible. When you realize that most restrictions are an illusion, you’ll start feeling more free everyday. Of course, there’s an accompanied risk with traveling as well, which is that you’ll be hooked forever!