There is something enticing, if not addicting, about surreal experiences in other parts of the world. This planet we call home has so much to it. All there is to see and explore in this world is unimaginable to many. Pictures of such beautiful places make you wonder whether such places can exist. Jungles, paradise, bustling city streets, quiet landscapes – they all seem so painfully unattainable that you might feel like it’s not even worth the trouble to dream about visiting such places.
Here’s the thing: these places are real, and they are a lot more accessible than you think. You can go there. You can go anywhere. Pick a place, save some money, plan it, and go.
I had been subconsciously saving for my first trip for years. Once I actually hit my budget, I realized there was literally nothing holding me back anymore. If I wanted to go, I just had to get my first passport and book my flight. I knew that if I bought a non-refundable ticket that I would have to go. I wouldn’t waste the money. The 3 months I booked were the 3 months I booked. For my first trip, I had to prove not only to everyone else that I could do it, but also prove to myself that I could do it.
Committing to your dreams is the first step in making them a reality. We are supposed to be such a highly intelligent species, yet I find many people who make themselves believe they are incapable of doing what they want. Can you imagine what the world would be like if people believed they were capable of doing whatever they wanted?
If you told me when I was 15 years old and had just watched Eat Pray Love that I would one day go to Rome and drink wine with a view of the Colosseum and travel to 16 countries in Europe by myself, and that I was planning a trip to Southeast Asia to travel alone again, all before the age of 24, I’d brush you off and assume you were just a delusional schizophrenic. Before you doubt yourself and your own ability to do what you want, remember this: I have done it. Hundreds and thousands of people are traveling the world right now. They’re making their dreams the reality they want. You can make all of the excuses you want but they will only ever just be excuses.
I think the biggest thing that holds people back is fear. The ‘what if’ of every decision. What if something goes wrong? What if x, y, or z happens? Everything always works out in the end. If I listened to every person that warned me about the dangers of traveling alone, I would have never left my house. Did anything bad happen to me on my travels? No. Do your research. Do you remember the hardest time in your life, and how you never thought you’d get over that one moment? Do you remember how many times you’ve felt like that? You always get through what you’re going through.
No matter what your situation is, there are a lot of ways that you can start getting out of your comfort zone. Start small. Start local. Take a drive to somewhere you’ve wanted to go and enjoy yourself for a few hours or a few days. Whether it’s a restaurant or a coffee shop – just try to enjoy yourself without thinking of the outside world. Take a ‘break’ from reality. Americans are known for always being in a rush and never being able to enjoy themselves. Leave your work at work.
When you want to get ready to go abroad, the biggest part of the cost is going to be the flight. Sign up for price alerts with Skyscanner for the cheapest flight deals; usually, flights decrease in cost on Tuesdays. Once you’re actually where you want to go, accommodation is pretty cheap if you’re ok with living in hostels. Hostels in Southeast Asia range from $5-$15 per night! Hostels in Europe depend on the country, but you can find accommodation for an average of $20 per night.
Everything in this world is in your grasp. Stop convincing yourself that you aren’t capable of achieving and experiencing everything that the world has to offer. Get out of your comfort zone!