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What Holds You Back From Traveling?
You're yearning to travel, but something holds you back. It's like a heavy anchor that keeps you standing still.
It's holding you back and you're as sour as a pickle, staring out the window, looking at the birds flying freely in the sky...
But, what is this "anchor"?
Throughout my traveler years, I've known a large number of people to whom financial resources clearly weren't the issue why they could not travel - something else held them back.
Do you feel like you're being held back from traveling?
What are the main causes of people feeling like they can't travel and what would the solutions be?
Source: © iStock.com/braddy (Brad Ralph)
Yes, as I said - money is just one of many reasons why some people are unable to travel seriously.
Not everyone wants to travel in hyper-budgety style (hitch-hike, sleep in tents and eat instant noodles daily and wear the same clothes for many days...).
However, most often it's fear of travel that hinders many from setting off for serious trips. It's an aversion most often caused by the influence of the environment we've grown up in or the influence of peers, colleagues etc.
Based on various interactions with friends, peers and various other people - I came up with the following causes why people feel like the can't travel (starting with the financial aspect):
#1 Lack of Funds (No Money) to Travel
So, you have no money to travel. Your low income can be the root cause.
But, do you know how much it would cost? Have you estimated budgets for trips?
Earlier I wrote an article on how to save money for trips when you have low income - which I entitled "Poor Man's Guide to Saving For Trips".
Even low income people can travel. You need to set concrete goals and be very economic.
Work on accumulating the funds for your trip. It might take months, even years (depending on your goals), but it's doable.
The biggest mistake is not to set concrete goals. Without having them, you cannot create a pathway all the way to success.
Besides savings, you can find a large number of alternative funding sources: selling your old objects, getting a second job or even a travel job (working abroad).
#2 Fear of the "Dangers of Traveling"
"Traveling is dangerous". I heard this countless times.
Each time this came from people who knew little or nothing about the destinations I've been too.
Negative opinion stems from rumours, negative news in the press, word-of-mouth etc.
Certain destinations have a bad reputation, indeed and keep in mind that the movies, TV news never reflect reality. And they're almost never up-to-date.
"Dangers of traveling" include: fear of being kidnapped/attacked/physically aggressed/robbed etc., fear of dangerous diseases/epidemics, fear of dangerous animals, even fear of getting lost and so on and so forth.
#3 What if it's a "Waste of Money"?
Trust me: in the end, experiences are worth much more than money. They're priceless.
And, by the time you get older, you'll gladly remember pleasant experiences you've had.
If you really love something, you should be ready to make sacrifices. Including financial ones.
A solution would be taking a short trip to a destination you like for a few days and return home. See how it feels and decide later whether you want to repeat the experience, taking longer trips, traveling farther away etc.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting you should burn all your money on travel. You have to have limits if you want to live a "normal" life.
#4 What if it's a "Waste of Time"?
How much time do you waste on useless activities daily, weekly, monthly, yearly...?
Are there any activities you'd rather cut out to travel instead?
Again, the solution would be taking a short experimental trip and decide later whether it was a waste of time or something worth repeating.
#5 Fear of Traveling Alone
It can be a fear of simply being alone or, it can be coupled with fear of travel-related dangers (there are countless, I won't go into them).
Women generally have a fear traveling alone, but there's a plethora of inspirational women's travel blogs and travel sites to learn from.
There are ways to travel alone and feel good, stay safe.
But, we men also have fears and beginners travelers especially.
Solution: pick a destination with a good reputation, one not too far from your home and get well-documented about it. Reading about the place will increase your sense of security and self-esteem.
And, if you don't fancy traveling alone, then pick guided tours or take part in travel meetups.
#6 Fear of Others' Envy
Some people will hate you for traveling and feeling great.
"Travel hate" is very common. And the haters tend to be people close to you.
If you decide to actively travel and make a habit out of it, your environment will feel like you're breaking away. Many won't rejoice at your joy and freedom.
Are you living to satisfy others or are you living for yourself?
Never allow others' behaviours set you limits.
The worst thing is giving up your dream merely because others have envy.
Don't be a people pleaser, follow your dreams!
If you're financially independent, it should be easier to cope with others' envy.
#7 Traveling is Not a "Serious Activity", People Will Look Down Upon You
Absurd, but plenty of people will label you negatively for traveling. It might be caused by envy.
To the vast majority of people, traveling is mere entertainment, fun. Just like going to a bar or like partying. Thus, not a "serious" activity.
If you're working in the field of travel (like professional travel bloggers, for instance), then obviously you're far from being part of something "unserious".
However, some people will label you negatively, no matter what you do.
Stick with your choices and respect them. Others should not hinder you from following your dreams.
#8 Worried About What You'll Eat Abroad
A foreign country offers countless varieties of meals, never be afraid of eating issues. And this should be no reason for not traveling.
It's best researching the eating options well in advance.
TripAdvisor and some location travel guides contain lists, reviews of restaurants, bars, cafes.
You can also find fast food restaurants and buy foods from local food stores, supermarkets.
#9 It's Just Complicated, You Don't Know How to Do it
If you've never traveled seriously, you might not know where to start. You're afraid of making mistakes, you're unsure whether it will run smoothly.
In this situation, a series of "what if's" run through your mind...
What if you forget some documents, what if the hotel is not good, what if you miss the connecting flight, what if you get robbed and remain stranded...
Some don't know what to visit or where to travel or simply: where to start the booking process.
Check my trip planning tips and spend plenty of time on travel forums, online travel communities (like TripAdvisor, TravBuddy, Travellerspoint) asking questions, interacting with experienced travelers and getting well documented.
Planning a trip efficiently can take weeks or months. Sometimes just a few hours.
If you're a beginner, then check my beginner travelers' advice and make sure you're not a disappointment prone naive traveler.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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