“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” mused American writer and essayist Susan Sontag. Whether written down or just a collection of passing thoughts, we all have aspirations to visit new places, have new experiences and grow as people.
As happens too often though, there is a danger of these travel goals not leaving the list, remaining a dream. Before you begin putting plans in place for your goals, you need to confront those excuses that may have prevented you from pursuing your dreams. Do you recognise yourself in any of the following statements?
When I travelled in my early twenties, I had very little money, so I prioritised what I could and couldn’t do.
• I don’t have time.
There is no such thing as the right moment to achieve your travel goals. Work will always be demanding in one capacity or another. Most companies provide about 25 days of holiday leave in the UK excluding public holidays. You can either save this time up for one longer excursion in the year, but do not discount the value of shorter adventures.
Can you fit any of your goals into a long weekend?
There is still a lot to gain from a four-day trip. You won’t be able to travel as far afield, but some careful planning can still leave you with a life-changing adventure.
• Travelling is too expensive.
It might seem daunting at how to muster up money for travel when you are already paying out cash for your mortgage, car loan and bills every month. Work out first how much the trip will cost, and then compare it to your incoming and outgoing expenses.
Can you syphon off the money usually spent on a meal out and put it into dedicated savings account just for your trip?
When I travelled in my early twenties, I had very little money, so I prioritised what I could and couldn’t do, as well as the kind of trip I could afford to take. Admittedly, I lacked the financial responsibilities I have now, but I never spent more than I had.
• I can’t afford it.
Saving can take time, but it should never prevent you from fulfilling your goal, you have to accept that it will not come to fruition immediately.
If the delay in fulfilling your travel ambitions is something that can be worked through, then read on to find out how to make your travel goals concrete. Set goals in any aspect of your life.
Is your list a vague collection of experiences that you want to try at some point?
Then planning ahead is crucial. Work out your travel priorities. Which experience do you want to achieve first? Is anybody else involved? Define exactly what your travel goal is and commit to it so you can build out a plan to make it a reality.
Remind yourself what you are working towards. Submit your days off at work sooner rather than later. Work out a budget to save up the money you need for the trip. These costs could include flights, accommodation and equipment.
Don’t forget to factor in travel insurance and visa fees if applicable. For more information on choosing the right travel insurance, read on my previous post ” What to look for when choosing your travel insurance”.
In Part 2, I will demonstrate how a simple framework can be a great way to set goals in any aspect of your life.