So, you want to start traveling, but you don't feel like you can. Maybe you don't feel like you can afford it, or maybe you have too many commitments at home, maybe you have nobody to go with, or maybe you're scared. Whatever the reason, you shouldn't let it hold you back. For most people reading this site, there are definite steps you can take to get you out of the house and onto the road.
Here are the seven main things you should stop doing if you want to start traveling.
Stop Buying Things You Don't Need
This is the one thing that prevents people from traveling more than anything else. If you can afford to buy new clothes and makeup and have nights out with friends and buy a Starbucks every now and then, you can easily save up for travel.
Here's what I always recommend: keep in your head that one day of travel in Southeast Asia will amount to $30. Now, for every $30 you spend, you can equate that with how many days on the road you'll be giving up. Want to buy a $100 coat for winter? That'll be three days less on a beautiful beach in Thailand.
Stop Listening to What Society Tells You to Do
Society tells you to do the same as everyone else: graduate college, find a job, build a career, get married, have kids, work until you're in your 60s, retire, maybe see the world then if you're in good enough shape. You don't have to follow this path.
If you want to travel, then doing it when you're a student is the best possible time.
It's the one time in your life when you'll be free of commitments and expectations. You likely won't be married, have kids, or have started your career yet, so there's nothing holding you back.
Stop Dreaming and Start Planning
It's easy to read travel blogs and guidebooks and dream about someday when you travel the world, but that never gets you any closer to actually leaving.
Instead, you need to start making plans and you need to book things.
In your final year of college and thinking about traveling after graduation? Head to Skyscanner, search for a cheap flight to "everywhere", and then book it. Start researching accommodation options on TripAdvisor. Too soon for you to book a flight? Buy a backpack. Start selling off your things. Get some vaccinations. Buy some travel gear. Even something as simple as buying a silk sleeping liner will help you get into the travel mindset.
Stop Keeping It a Secret
If you want to travel the world, one of the best things you can do is start telling people that you want to do so. Not only will it make it feel more real, but each time you tell someone you're going to travel, you're also telling yourself that you can do it.
I found that when I had last minute nerves about leaving, it was the fact that I'd told everyone I was going to do it that pushed me to get on the plane. I didn't want to have to tell everyone that I'd been too scared, so I pushed myself to do it.
Stop Being Afraid
You only need turn on the news in the United States to be hit by a tsunami of terrible things happening around the world. It's enough to make you never leave your house again.
Don't do that. The world is an incredibly safe place, full of wonderful people who don't want to murder you. Rather than being afraid of travel, try it yourself to see how it is. Start off with a weekend trip in your state, then try visiting a new state entirely. Next up, maybe visit a Caribbean island or a beach in Mexico. From there, you can work up to visit Europe or Southeast Asia.
After five years of travel, I can tell you I feel far safer when I'm traveling than I do when I'm at home.
Stop Wondering What Could Be
The one thing that pushed me to travel more than anything else? The fear that I'd end up living my life full of regrets, always wondering what might have been if I'd only decided to travel. Don't live your life like this. If you want to travel, go. If you don't like it, return home and know that it wasn't for you.
It's better than always wondering.