White sand sticks to your toes, palm trees shadow you from the sun, crystal clear turquoise water beckons you. Sitting on the beach alone with a book, a beer, or your significant other. Sea turtles swim by, bright colorful fish swirl around the reef, hermit crabs scuttle by waving hello.
It’s amazing how you can dream yourself into a place, just by staring at that wall calendar. Those pictures so crisp, so beautiful, so surreal. You read that tiny print in the corner, scribble down the name of the beach on a post-it, promising yourself you’ll go there someday. The end of the month comes, you flip the page, and there’s a new dream for the next thirty-ish days.
I am here to help you realize that dream, bring it to fruition, make it your reality. When it comes to traveling some major questions are thrown my way daily.
How do you travel so often?
I make it a priority. I am not clouded by obsession with a “career path”. I am not validated by a 9-5. Sitting in an office is like walking on hot coals: I will only do it if necessary. I do not have an aversion to work. On the contrary, I enjoy working. I work a lot. I work hard. I work often. The key that most miss is balance. This brings up the next question:
How do you afford your trips?
I’ve mastered the art of budgeting (or at least try to). Short of a complete analysis of my expenses from the past years, I will touch upon this in many posts. Learning to save, knowing when to spend, and creating an expense report are the only tricks up my sleeve.
The misconception that travel is expensive is so false I can feel it in my bones. It upsets me that there are so many able-bodied people out there who decide money is what is stopping them. I am in no way a wealthy person. Only a few years out of college, I am the generation of student debt. Loans and bills cannot be what define me. Money will not define me. I believe this is where many get caught up. I have been there. The ebb and flow of anxiety, especially in an unstable economy, is enough to cripple anyone’s spirit.
Are you ever lonely when you travel alone?
The notion that solo travel is lonely travel is very far from the truth. Never have I ever felt so alive as when I am with a group of new-found friends, in a new place, discovering simple connections between all of us. Whether it be on a 8 hour bus ride from San Jose to the coastline of Costa Rica, in the airport in Ireland, or walking the streets of Morocco, humans will be humans. We are social creatures. Traveling alone pushes you to break out of your shell, smile at a stranger, strike up a conversation. Traveling solo will do wonders for the soul.
[For my parents and family.. this is a disclaimer: I know you taught me not to talk to strangers. Do not fret. I am not throwing myself at strangers in foreign countries in a desperate attempt for friends.]
You can convince yourself of anything.
You don’t have enough time. Or money. Or resources.
I dare you to change that.
You can go wherever you want. See whatever you want to see. Go where you want to go.
Do it now.
Do it often.
Do it for life.