Many years ago, more than I care to remember, a close friend of mine suggested we “go to Europe” during the period between graduating high school and beginning our post secondary careers. At the time nothing could have seemed crazier to me. Go to Europe? Why?
I was destined to begin a college diploma course and start into the workforce while my friend attended University full time over the next number of years. Things worked out. In addition to finishing my college diploma I have since completed an undergraduate degree, almost finished my Masters thesis (oh yeah, its gonna happen) and have worked continuously in post-secondary education institutions, in various capacities, for the better part of two decades.
Something else happened to me. Thanks, at least in some part, to this long forgotten discussion and buoyed by exposure to the University environment I developed an insatiable appetite for travel and sincere desire to see Europe with a small bag strapped to my back.
But I continually put off this urge for at least a decade and always maintained a perfectly valid reason for doing so. I am sure you have these reasons in your back pocket too. I cannot go right now because: Money is tight. I don’t have time. My spouse is not into that sort of thing. Work is too busy. I’ll go later. I simply cannot go right now. I am not sure how to do it.
These are the things we tell ourselves when we are scared.
Pssst, I’ll let you in on a secret. Let me tell you how to experience YOUR adventure. Just buy the DAMN ticket. After putting this off all these years I bought I plane ticket and reorganized my life a bit to allow me to spend 5 weeks wandering the continent from London to Rome. No plans. No real direction. No itinerary.
I have not travelled much compared to many of my friends but I can offer this advice. If there is SOMEWHERE you want to go or SOMETHING you want to do SIMPLY DO IT. You cannot wait for someone else to make it happen, for the timing to be just right or for the ATM to spit back numbers you feel comfortable with. Thats not the way it works. You simply have to push outside of your comfort zone and make something happen.
This Fall I’ll be spending 3 weeks in Eastern Europe again with no plans. Travelling town to town, train to train, hostel to hostel. The first thing I did in planning for this trip is buy the tickets — after that everything will fall into place. Things work out. Always.