I remember it like it was yesterday. When at 19 years old, I boarded on a plane, all by myself to go to Barcelona. My semester studying abroad in Finland had just ended and I was packing my things, reminiscing on all the countries I had visited for the last 5 months. (about 7 countries to be exact). I had visited them with my roommate and sometimes with groups of students, I had went to London alone but it was only because I had a friend who lived there at the time and I would be able to stay with her as she showed me around. But this time, I was really about to do it on my own. I did not know anybody in Barcelona, I had no plans, no fixed destinations. All I knew was that, deep in my heart, it was something I needed to do. Deep inside my soul, I had a thirst for new discoveries, to see the world from a different perspective and to learn new things.
If you are young and trying to figure out the meaning of this burning desire inside of you to jump on a plane and discover new things, here is a little motivation to start traveling!
You can start small
You do not need to start by booking a one way ticket to Alaska. It is OK to start with small steps: A one week trip somewhere close to you or somewhere with a relatively similar culture to yours. Some people like to start big and that is OK too but you do not need to fall under the pressure that it needs to be grand in order to be meaningful.
Do not be afraid to start alone
If traveling is something you really want to do, you do not need to wait for anybody’s approval to do so. Stop waiting for friends to make up their mind or for your environment to understand why you want to do it. At 19 years old, when I said I wanted to go to Barcelona all by myself, many people, including my parents did not fully understand. It sounded scary and even a little crazy but I did not let that stop me from doing what I knew in my heart to be right. If the people you wanted to go with keep changing their minds, if they do not seem to want to save up the money, then leave. Remember that it is YOUR journey and your personal growth. Stop waiting for people to validate your choices.
If others can do it, you can do it
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. It can be scary to start your travel journey. I remember being so confident, but then, sitting on the plane thinking “What was I thinking” but my travels have shaped me into the person I am today and I have never had one single regret. Many people start traveling really young. I remember meeting this 18 year old German girl who decided to take a leap year after high school to serve in different countries and learn more about herself before starting college. All it takes is a little courage to go against the norm and do what feels right. Life is nothing but a daring adventure and you’ll never know until you try.
Do not wait till you have “Everything figured out”
Waiting for the perfect timing? Good luck with that. Truth is, the more you wait, the less likely you will be to actually book that ticket and leave. So what you just work part-time at a little restaurant? So what you do not feel 100% confident? Dare to take the first steps while your legs are shacking. It is all about finding the courage to step out of your comfort zone and LIVE.
Make it a priority
It is all about priorities and if you truly want to travel, you can make it happen! Start saving up for your adventure. Find ways to put a % of your pay-check on the side, create a travel box where you put your change, open a savings account, stop eating out every day, sell things you do not need. There are so many ways to save money for your trip!
If you were waiting for a sign, this is it! Traveling is something that you spend money on and that can only make you richer. Do not wait for a steady job, for retirement, to for whatever else you use as an excuse. The moment you were waiting for, is NOW.
Looking for more inspiration and motivation? Here are a few other blog posts you can read:
A Travel Lover