Dreaming of travelling but it seems out of reach?
Something always seeming to be getting in the way of booking that plane ticket?
Apprehensive about stepping outside of what you know?
We feel you, all too well.
Two years ago this was our mindset also. We had no idea how to prioritise long term travel. Basically we had successful, stable lives and we were afraid of going against the grain. We had recently bought a house in a lovely neighbourhood and spent a year renovating it, were surrounded by loving family and friends and generally enjoyed a fab standard of living.
We'd worked hard to be promoted to respectable positions at work. Enjoyed regular meals out, had decent wardrobes, could afford a new TV when we wanted, the latest iPhone upgrade and definitely appreciated our full Virgin Media package.
Don’t get me wrong, it was great but we were comfortable. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
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Deep down we knew we were bored with the conventional way of living and measuring our success by standard societal norms, we wanted something different. We loved the excitement and invigoration we felt when travelling to new places. And decided to refuse to be content that it was only possible within the parameters of weekends and our 22 annual leave days.
So we pushed our fears aside, put on our game faces and made the decision to prioritise long term travel.
Commit to Saving
Saving will test how much you really want to travel but we can honestly say that it gets easier - the hardest part is starting. And you are definitely not alone if you’re thinking...
“next month I’ll cut back”
“we’ll just splash out this weekend and get back on track on Monday”.
We went through this many a time, but if you persevere and see those pounds start piling up in your savings account it will help with the commitment to prioritise long term travel.
You need to get a grasp basically of what’s an essential spend and what’s a non-essential spend and cut the latter out.
Write down all your outgoings from rent/mortgage and your average weekly food shop, to that inconspicuous £5 per month direct debit you’ve got coming out of your account that you’re not really sure what it’s for but never got around to cancelling it.
Set a weekend aside and be ruthless, slash everything you can live without.
Sure you’ll miss stuff at first but from now on you’re going to be too busy researching and planning your incredible adventure to be that bothered.
Check out our awesome 'Top 12 Tips to Save Money to Travel'.
Have a Plan
When we first sat down to plan where exactly we wanted to go, we quickly realised that we wanted to go everywhere. The possibilities and combinations are endless.
- But to start with I encourage you to dream big.
- Let your imagination run wild with wanderlust.
It was pretty overwhelming but we stuck at it and narrowed it down to spending 12 months visiting South America, China, South East Asia and India. This was a big wish list and soon after we set off we realised we’d have to save India for a later trip - but that's that beauty of it.
The world is a big place and once you start putting pen to paper about your dreams it all becomes much more real.
When you’re eyeing a takeaway menu because you’re struggling to peel yourself off the sofa on a Sunday afternoon to cook tea, those amazing destinations and incredible adventures you’ve read about will give you a kick up the bum.
Instead of wandering what you used to do without Netflix, get your calendar out and plan what events and social occasions are upcoming.
Be firm about what you absolutely have to attend and what you can cut back on or do differently.
Mates birthday - have a party at yours and ask everyone to bring some snacks and drinks?
Nephew’s christening - do you really need a new dress? Can you make a gift?
Keep Your Focus
So you’ve drawn up your destination wish list and the pounds are adding up in your bank account quite nicely. Once we were at this stage and had a realistic leave date in mind we started to get a bit jittery.
Was this really what we wanted? Were we being silly?
What if it all went wrong? What if we didn’t even like it?
These kind of questions were going around in our minds on a daily basis. Coupled with quite a few of our family and friends thinking we were nuts, we started to question ourselves and whether we could go through with it. Could we really prioritise long term travel?
This is where you’ve got to be strong and focus on where your dreams stemmed from in the first place.
What are your motivations for wanting to travel?
Ours were pretty clear cut and had been going on for long enough that we knew we wouldn’t be truly happy continuing with life as we knew it. So ignore the naysayers, their opinions (even if well intended) are about them not you.
Surround yourself with motivational post it notes, meditate, speak to your ‘supporters’ regularly – hell, whatever you need to do to keep you on track.
Message us, we’ll give you some encouragement for sure!
Before you know it you’ll be on that plane and soon after wondering what the fuss was all about. I was balling my eyes out as we left our family and went through security and passport control. But...
I’ll never forget the exhilaration and freedom I felt when J grabbed my hand and we started literally running through the airport towards the biggest adventure of our lives.
If we can prioritise long term travel, so can you.
What are you waiting for?